Talk:2016 Group 5 Project

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2016 Projects: Group 1 | Group 2 | Group 3 | Group 4 | Group 5 | Group 6 | Group 7
Group Projects - Blood Cell Biology - Updated 21 April  
This year's main topic is Blood Cell Biology. Each group should discuss with group members the specific sub-topic that will be covered by their project.

Here is a list of some of the cell types (Structure and Function)

PuMed citations PuMed Central citations PuMed Central note
Note - that while full publications are available online at PuMed Central, not all these publications allow reuse. You should still always identify the copyright statement within the actual article that allows reuse. Many research labs that receive government grants are required to make their published research available on PMC, this does not mean that the publicly available copy content can be used in your projects.

Remember - No easily identifiable statement usually means that you cannot reuse.

Examples from Megakaryocyte references on PubMed Central

Embryology - content cannot be reused but a useful resource about cell development.

Histology - images these can be reused in your projects.

Group Assessment Criteria  

Group Assessment Criteria

  1. The key points relating to the topic that your group allocated are clearly described.
  2. The choice of content, headings and sub-headings, diagrams, tables, graphs show a good understanding of the topic area.
  3. Content is correctly cited and referenced.
  4. The wiki has an element of teaching at a peer level using the student's own innovative diagrams, tables or figures and/or using interesting examples or explanations.
  5. Evidence of significant research relating to basic and applied sciences that goes beyond the formal teaching activities.
  6. Relates the topic and content of the Wiki entry to learning aims of cell biology.
  7. Clearly reflects on editing/feedback from group peers and articulates how the Wiki could be improved (or not) based on peer comments/feedback. Demonstrates an ability to review own work when criticised in an open edited wiki format. Reflects on what was learned from the process of editing a peer's wiki.
  8. Evaluates own performance and that of group peers to give a rounded summary of this wiki process in terms of group effort and achievement.
  9. The content of the wiki should demonstrate to the reader that your group has researched adequately on this topic and covered the key areas necessary to inform your peers in their learning.
  10. Develops and edits the wiki entries in accordance with the above guidelines.

Group 5: User:Z5015719 | User:Z3462124 | User:Z3463953 | User:Z5017292


Peer review

Group 5

1. Good introduction to Mast cells at the beginning, very summarized with multiple essential information from different sources. 2. Contents and diagrams are well cited. 3. Headings and subheadings are clear and organized, use of tables are not dull, making the wiki page more lively and more educational. 4. Shows good choices of diagrams, easy to understand and not too complicated, help readers to understand without needing to read the text too much. 5. Sufficient use of diagrams and tables, with number of different sources, very educational. 6. Student's own drawn diagram with own explanation as a summary could be included for an even better understanding. 7. This wiki page relates the topic and content of the Wiki entry to learning aims of cell biology very well and makes readers reading with much knowledge learned from the course.

Group 5

The introduction is good but I would rearrange some of the information. Talk about its major roles first and then talk about how recently it has been discovered that they play another role.

The history section was good. I like that you made it a different colour to stand out.

Define anaphylactic.

Function and morphology sections are really well done. The information flowed really well, was easy to understand and went into an appropriate amount of detail I.e not too much or too little.

This wiki was extremely well done. Most of the time while reading it, I felt as though I was reading the actual wikipedia page on mast cells. It was written in such a way that it was easy to understand, yet still provided a lot of information. The tables used were really helpful. There isn't much I would say about changing or adding to this wiki! Well done.

Group 5

Introduction/History: Very clear and concise. Good use of referencing. History also has good referencing, and it was good that you didn’t over crowd it with lots of information.

Physiology: good use of subheadings. Flow of information within each sub heading was easy to follow and provided an easy read. Great referencing was used. Hand made drawings and images provided were good and easy to follow - good to include a flow diagram of the production of mast cells. Could possibly add in a diagram in the function section, just to give a brief overview of mast cell activation. The addition of the video was a nice touch. The expanded images was also a good idea, to prevent the page from looking over crowded. Overall work in this section was well done.

Pathology: Good referencing in this section. Good use of tables and diagrams - really liked the H1 histamine receptor antagonist blocking image, this gave a real idea of the drug. Readability in this whole section was good Having the pathogenesis of each disease is a good idea as it really gave an in depth view of the role of mast cells at this point.

Mast Cell Group 5 z5105710

1. key points clear

  • Really good and extensive page in general, a few things to adapt:
  • After reading an introduction I want to know what the cell type does and why is it different from all the other immune cells. After your introduction I don't know anything: "Mast cells are highly granulated which typically contain proteases, particularly tryptase and chymase, that are influenced and regulated by the presence of cell mediators such as Interleukin-4." what for? what to they do? "Armed with these preformed granules, mast cells can alter their phenotype depending on their environment, demonstrated by selective cytokine production and the altering of transcription processes and storage of preformed mediators." This sentence sound fancy but does not tell anything at all. what are performed mediators, why selective cytokines, how to they alter phenotype? What's in the granules? what is their function? "The presence of preformed granules allows mast cells to respond quickly to pathogen invasion, establishing their major role in the immediate phase of response to allergic pathogen" Again. this sentence doesn't explain anything at all just sounds fancy. What role in the immune system? respond quickly how? any cell can respond quickly in some fashion to some stimulus which establishes it's major role in something.
  • "Mediators[edit]

Mast cells produce an array of bioactive molecules. These are released either by vesicular exocytosis or de novo synthesised and secreted through membrane channels. Moon et al.(2014)[63] performed a review of the literature and showed the major stored mediators in one table (below)." what do mediators do? what do they mediate?

2. choice of content, headings and graphs.

  • Loads of good content, extensive article that gives all the necessary information. One of the most elaborate articles!
  • Why did you print screen a table? just copy the data in your own and reference it, the resolution is not good too. Plus reference is missing in text and in the picture file
  • "when in loose connective tissue they will appear rounded, whereas in dermal fibres they appear spindle shaped, and when in close proximity to blood vessels they can appear elongated." Why not explain this? Obviously in loose connective tissue there is not a lot of mechanical strain/stress, thus they are round, In vessels they need to be elongated for spatial reasons and in dermal fibers, where a lot of tensile strength is required, they adapt to the spindly form of dermal fibers.
  • Like the numbers and sizes, gives a good feel
  • You need to upgrade the function section. just as the introduction you keep being very fuzzy with what they actually do. "his eventually leads to degranulation and the release of mediators by the mast cell. [36]Not only do mast cells release chemical mediators, they also have the ability to participate in phagocytosis, and can also produce antimicrobial peptides that have been shown to kill bacteria.[3" what do the molecules do exactly? What molecules? why? How do they participate in phagocytosis, they are not antigent presenting cells? what antimicrobial peptides, how do they kill the bacteria? Function is the key heading, this should be the most elaborate section. "Mast cells have the ability to release selective mediators without degranulation, which means that an anaphylactic reaction will not occur" why not? what is anaphylactic reaction caused by?

"Mast cells also possess an interesting ability to be triggered by certain molecules and then activate or degrade them. [39]For example, they can synthesis the cytokine endothelin, but can also degrade it." what's that good for, what do you mean exactly? rephrase

3. Referencing

  • Both Pictures about lineage is lacking in text referencing, also synthesis eicosanoids and the table about mast cell mediators
  • Proper and extensive in text referencing, probably only group besides T Cells that have sufficient references for an academic work

4. own innovative diagrams, tables or figures and/or using interesting examples or explanations.

  • Own picture really low quality compared to others, names of molecules in picture partly not readable

5. Evidence of significant research relating to basic and applied sciences that goes beyond the formal teaching activities.

  • As said, very extensive article, loads of in depth-info.

6. Relates content to cell biology. Can be more extensive

7. Formatting

  • Really nice formatting of history and other tables, thumbs up!
  • like the collapsible boxes
  • "Here is a video depicting degranulation in real time: Video: Mast cell degranulation" put in the video, not just a link

Final thoughts Work on your picture referencing and the function subsection, the rest is really good. and maybe make a nicer picture


Your group page is shaping up nicely, with a lot of information and a great balance of information to visuals and a collapsible tables and images that encourages the reader to click on a read further. Your group page is coming together nicely. I found it most interesting that your layout was different to the rest of he groups in that you had two major subheadings that flowed with the main points under each section. The subdivision between pathology and physiology allows for your group to be different and yet place all the information in chronological order while having all the information needed. Your page is easy to follow and to understand the information in each section. I noticed that you placed a treatment for patients with MCAD’s and a wide range or allergic disease with detail. Additionally the glossary was a nice add that shows that you guys have taken the initiative to start it but I think it’s a little unfinished and you can add some stuff in there. The visual aid used was great as it created a balanced page between the information and images used. The use of tables and collapsible tabs to open and close at the fingers of the reader allows for a control of mood on your page, not overwhelming the reader. Further a great deal of referencing which shows that you guys have done heaps of research! GREAT WORK GUY!

Group 5

1. Introduction is well written, it touches up on different aspects of mast cells and includes multiple references

2. Only group to colour there history tables, it is large and informative

3. Overall there is a lot of tables and images which helps intrigue the reader, Well done

4. Very large reference list which is great, however there isn’t much to fault about this report except the very small glossary which needs to be increased

5. This report would have to be the most well written report out of the bunch, very clear and concise, interesting to read with great use of images and tables

Group 5

Introduction-good beginning overview

Physiology-Good structure section. Function section-provided subheadings to break up the text and make it more readable. Only need one of the diagrams for origin and migration-suggest the one with the bone showing where the MCP go to differentiate. Differentiation section probably doesn’t need to be in a table-just dot points. Degranulation again doesn’t need to be in a table.

Pathology-good diagram. Great setting out of MCAD-very thorough.

Overall a good project, other than a few structural changes there is nothing much else to add.

Group 5 (z3461106)

Group 5 has composed a brief overview that has perfectly summarised what a mast cells is, and have included a nicely formatted History table which comprehensively covers the developments of the Mast cell. The addition of a histological image of Mast cells stained in Toluidine Blue is very useful in understanding the visual structure and also contains a scale which is useful to know more about the size. A comprehensive list of references has been used throughout the wiki page, demonstrating a large amount of research that has been executed. Information has also been presented with logical flow, progressively developing upon the subsection. A great example of this was in Function whereby the process of Mast cell activation is outlined. Furthermore, there has been extensive use of diagrams and flow charts which assisted in explaining the origins and migrations of Mast cells. In particular, the adapted diagram of the Activations and Simplified Signalling Pathways allowed increased focus of explanation. On the other hand, I feel that the diagram could be improved by utilising pre-drawn arrows and pre-loaded fonts to make it more professional.

Although a glossary is very helpful in defining important terms, I believe that defining scientific terms should be incorporated within the main body of texts as it is more convenient to for the reader instead of having to scroll down to refer to definitions.Furthermore, some acronyms such as FcεRI need further expansion.

Overall, Group 5 has made an excellent wiki page that has used a good balance of clear and concise information, diagrams, videos and tables to represent the Mast cell in its entirety. However, the glossary could possibly be integrated with the main body text and some of the acronyms require expansion.


General pointers:

  • Separate large chunks of writing by inserting subheadings and/or breaking up paragraphs
  • Pictures of pathways/activation can be inserted to degranulation and Parathyroid bone disease. The hand-drawn image can be utilised here as it probably is easier to draw a pathway than to find one.

Overall, well written. No major mistakes or things that need to be fixed. A good amount of detail is provided for each subheading.


Out of all the projects, I think this groups one was one of the best ones. It had a good structure and flow. It started with the introduction and gave more descriptive information as it got to the sections on. The information they wrote was paired with images or tables that supplemented the information that was written. There were sections of the project where it did seem like the information was almost too lengthy but the tables that were created allowed the reader to absorb the information easily. If you did not understand the paragraphs, you could refer to the paragraphs. The only thing I could suggest for this group is to possibly use some bullet points in the other paragraphs that are quite lengthy but do not have a table for image to support it.

Group 5: Mast cells

Introduction: Good introduction gives good overview of the cell explaining what, when, where and why however, I feel that their functions of “communicate the presence of pathogens to the lymph nodes and other immune cells.”etc. should be one of the first things I read.

History: Formatting of table is nice, nicely spaced and easy to read.

Physiology: Morphology: The picture coding has an error, shows 300px. Also would be good to have pictures of different morphologies.

Function: Very clear section that outlines the key functions. Is there any information on how they are protective in regards to tumor growth?

Origin and migration: What makes the mast cell go to different areas? What are these corresponding molecules? Also what chemokine receptors are present? Otherwise section has good content potentially rewording some of the sentence for ease of reading as a final touch up.

Activation and mediators: I really like this section, straight to the point and clear. Degranulation: Good table however, and introduction to it might be helpful and explain what degranulation is.

Pathology: Great introduction to topic ran over everything again to refresh what I needed to know for below. For the MACD I think the subsets should be bullet pointed, as it can be a little confusing to read all in one line. Also potentially making the criteria and treatments collapsible as you have done with signs and symptoms. I feel the parathyroid bone disease and other disease paragraphs could be made more concise as there is quite a number of them.

Glossary: I think may be best in a table. Overall a really great page! I found it quite difficult to find major faults, only minor rewording and a few things to add.

Group 5

This page appeared to be unique in comparison to the other projects and showed that members thoroughly researched their area of concern. Information was lengthy but detailed in nearly all sections. The addition of the student image was interesting. The use of a collapsible table for de novo eicosanoid production and H1 histamine receptor antagonist blocking did not seem necessary and could be taken out as the information could flow better if the image visible without having the need to expand. The use of external links within information under the physiology section could be employed throughout the other sections of the project. Overall, this project was structured well and was outstanding.

group 5

1. 4 key points easily described through use of headings with subheadings used effectively to demarcate information

2. A lot of good information and diagrams throughout, use of collapsible images very smart.

3. All information both text and images are referenced correctly throughout.

4. Useful information clearly layed out very valuable for education purposes.

5. At 122 references it is evident that the group has done thorough research in the topic

6. Relates very clearly to the cell biology course


  • Good layout and balance between text and visuals, good idea to include links to other useful information sources
  • Very few spelling/grammar errors, well set out paragraphs
  • Used an array of sources to derive information
  • Physiology
    • Great information on morphology however function is generalised and I think further elaboration is needed, possibly use more subheadings under function. Origin could also be cut down as there was some repetition of information.
    • Images used in this section are appropriate and explain differentiation from haematopoietic stem cells as well as locations in tissues
    • Could go into information such as signalling pathways and surface molecules/receptors, these were mentioned briefly but would be good to add
  • Great explanation for pathology and overview of diseases, good to focus on one major disease associated with mast cells (providing treatment, signs, symptoms etc.) and then briefly explain some other disorders

Group 5 peer review

The page is greatly detailed and it is clear that an extensive amount of research has gone into it. There is good use of tables to summarise information and break up the blocks of text. The self-adapted image was also well done. There are some issues in regards to referencing. The reference tags should be placed before the period as a standard convention, and the reference coding needs to be reviewed as there are multiple copies of references to the same source in the references section which does not look good. I'm not sure if Mark gave the approval for links to Wikipedia pages. If so then it's a nice touch, but if not then you may have to bring it up with him again or remove them.

The haematopoetic lineages image appears to be copyrighted. I've read the permissions page and the full line says that you may only "print or download content for scholarly use" and then later says that "you may not copy or display all or any content from the site in any medium". It's hard to interpret and you might want to ask Mark about it, but since it's not under a creative commons license I would be reluctant to use it. Similarly the copyright statement in the mast cells in asthma image says nothing about you being able to reproduce that image, only that it is free to access on PMC and I'm fairly certain anything from Nature is copyrighted. The glossary is a good idea but you need to add more terms and definitions to it. In terms of spelling and grammar errors there were few to none that I could pick up on so well done there.



  • There is not much constructive criticism i can give for this page. It it set out nicely, each section is appropriate in length, and the use of tables and images supports the text nicely, reinforcing the information being presented. The language used is appropriate complexity for the target audience, and is backed up with the glossary.
  • It all seems to be well referenced and sentence structure/ grammar is ideal.
  • There were a couple of words i came across which could probably be added to the glossary as they were quite specific. I couldn’t find them again, so maybe when finalising each section reevaluate whether there are any words that could be added.


  • Perhaps consider reordering the subheadings under the physiology section. A flow from origin —> differentiation —> morphology (how they appear in their terminally differentiated state) would create a nice flow of how/ where they originate to what they end up looking like. Then have function following on from this, as their functioning occurs in this state.


  • A section on current and future potential research on mast cells would be good to include. This would support the information in the pathology section and give the readers a deeper understanding of the cells role in disease by showing what is being done in research.


  • I would also suggest breaking up or cutting down some of the bigger paragraphs, including only the important information, to keep the reader interested. Most sections are a good length, there are just a few that are quite long.
  • You have covered a good range of mast cell associated diseases here, which provides an in depth understanding of how levels of these cells induce or prevent disease.

Very well done so far!

Group 5 Peer Review

An extremely well made page with a lot of interesting information. The referencing style is interesting, combining hyperlinks to terms (as a substitute to glossary, while still including a glossary section to define shorter and easier to define terms) and the well made numbered references and bibliography.

History is pretty extensive and more than enough to provide readers to understand the stage of how much we currently know about mast cells.

Function can be added as an entirely separate section with subheadings ( though keeping it in the physiology section is not much as a problem, separating some main points into subheadings is recommended) and expanded upon. Diagrams of how the cells maintain and undergo various processes in their function will be a great addition to explain complex mechanisms which are much simplified in the current text form. This is another reason why I suggest this section to be a separate section with subheadings, separating mast cell role in the immune system and injury repair.

Inclusion of a number tables and images in various parts of the page is a great addition to improve readability.

A brief section of current researches and applications should be added to explain how the existence of mast cells actually affect science and the society in general, both currently and to the future.

The glossary terms could use some citations, just to mention where the definitions come from.

Some references are repeated in the bibliography, so it's better to check the codes and follow the "cheat sheet" provided early in the course to avoid this.

Group 5 Peer Review (z5020175)


  • Very well written introduction on mast cells
  • Clearly introduces the main points about mast cells such as their origin, location, roles in our body and a bit about their structure (contains granules)
  • Information is clearly referenced
  • The Introduction may need to be split into 2 paragraphs particularly at the words "Mast cells are highly granulated…" since this is a completely different point about mast cells.


  • The formatting of the table is really pleasant aesthetically
  • The Findings weren't too dense with information which is good and suitable for student learning
  • All information was referenced


  • Morphology was really well written and provided sufficient detail. The language was not to dense with jargon and was suitable for student learning. It could be broken up into a few paragraphs for easier reading and for the different points to stand out.
  • Function: The diverse roles of mast cells was established within this paragraph. There is a missing word in the very last sentence of the second paragraph. The information on mast cells and their involvement in tumour growth should be placed in a separate paragraph. Maybe 1 or 2 diagrams could be added to enhance the information. Overall, this was a really solid section as you have clearly illustrated a connection between the molecules secreted by mast cells and their diverse roles: inflammation, tumour inhibition and pathogen clearance.
  • Origin and migration: This section was engaging to read as it briefly mentioned the historical context in which mast cell precursors were discovered. It is very clear that Group 5 has been actively reading through research papers on mast cells and their origins. The addition of 'integrins' in this section really ties in well with what we have learnt in cell biology. Diagrams were well chosen and demonstrate mast cell development comprehensively.
  • Differentiation: The table summarises the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that lead to mast cell differentiation really well. This is easy to read and would be very helpful for students.
  • Activation: The hand - made drawing is really easy to follow and this section was not too information dense. However, the main intermediate steps in the signalling pathways may need to be elucidated.
  • Mediators: The two main classes of mediators produced by mast cells is thoroughly covered and images have been added to enhance this section.
  • Degranulation: The addition of a video and EM images was a really smart idea. The use of a table in this section made learning about mast cell degranulation easier to understand. It also clearly shows the differences between piecemeal and anaphylactic degranulation such as how they are stimulated by TLR and FCeR1 cross - linking respectively.


  • The diagram really summarises the involvement of mast cells in the various forms of immunity very well
  • The information presented on mast cells is correct
  • Mast Cell Activation Disease is really interesting to read
  • The addition of pathogenesis and clinical manifestations really provides a more holistic picture of the mast cell related diseases.
  • The signs and symptoms table was really set out since it shows how the different organs are affected
  • Using a table for treatment was a really wise choice
  • You’ve extensively covered the allergic disorders and how mast cells are involved in their pathogenesis. However, the addition of treatment can improve this section for e.g. loratadine is used to treat allergic rhinitis and ventolin is used to treat asthma. Sodium cromoglycate stabilises mast cells and prevents their degranulation.


  • You have clearly shown that they have done extensive research on mast cells.
  • The overall formatting was really well executed
  • The written expression was spectacular and would be easy for a student to follow.
  • The information was really engaging to read especially since it was briefly contextualised. For example, the origin of mast cells was discovered through a patient with leukaemia.
  • The use of tables for certain sections was really effective in teaching the reader about mast cell differentiation or degranulation.
  • Certain sections need to be divided into paragraphs
  • Has good use of diagrams and contains a student diagram
  • Covers many diseases associated with mast cells

Group 5 (z3423497)

  • Great introduction, well informative and gives a great insight into the topic.
  • Good timeline, well presented and well referenced
  • The overall structure of the topics and the use of images for each subtopic works very well, the addition of the tables also makes it easy to understand the information.
  • Topics are well written and easy to understand, I like how the topics have been split between physiology and pathology.
  • Glossary could be possibly put into a table

Overall it is a very well written page and seems to be almost complete. There use of images to support the information is excellent, there is a great flow in the information and is well referenced. It is evident that the topic has been well researched and that a lot of time has been put in assembling all the information to make it coherent and the assignment coveys it very well, to make it easy to understand.

Group 5 | Mast Cells

Introduction : Really strong introduction. Clear, concise but also going into a bit of depth. Prepares the reader for their wiki page.

History : Once again, clear and concise. With main key points, dates and discoveries.

Physiology : Great referencing and usage of images. Shows that they actually support the information talked about in the text. Image use is on point here! Helpful and clear text below images used and the information presented in the images is very engaging and helps the reader to understand what the text is saying. Great table used in differentiation to help break up the page and make it look appealing to the eye while still presenting relevant information. To be honest when I first saw how many things you wanted to cram into physiology I assumed that you were going to have blocks of text in an unpresentable way. However this section was clear, concise, made excellent use of spacing, imaging, descriptions and tables. I felt that at all times I could understand what points you were trying to say and the information was all relevant and supported each other.

Pathology : I really enjoyed the depth that you had here while still using clear language. I appreciated particularly how you stepped the reader through Mast Cell Activation Disease and showed us the pathogenesis, the factors that lead up to it, clinical manifestations as well as different therapies used to treat it. Once again using tables effectively and with writing that just flows, is smooth and progresses the knowledge kindly to the reader. I would have liked to see the same sort of depth in the other diseases that you guys mentioned!

This by far was the best page I've read. It was at all points clean, concise, engaging and went deeply into the content. It used spacing, tables and images beautifully and in a way that supported the text and information that was being presented. The only thing I can critique one is having more detail in some of the diseases you discussed in your pathology section. I think this is literally going to get full marks when it gets marked! Really good job guys!


the structure of the contents leading the key points, and easy to follow. the subheading is very organised, it is the very good idea that divided into physiology and pathology section. shorten the subheading and better understanding. the figure of the morphology is very well explaining with the proper referencing, and also it is the very good idea that using the many tables at the proper part, and the bigger table placed with collapsed table. pathology part contains the variety of diseases with very well explained contents.

I would suggest that the glossary part can contain more information to improve.

I would say this project is the most well organised because it has very detailed information, easy to see the subheading, proper figures and tables with the proper references.

Mast Cells Group 5 - Peer review by z3465531

1. Are the key points of the topic delineated and clearly presented in detail?

• The key points of the topic were very easily identified as aspects of mast cells according to the title figure, detailed structured subheadings, and a very clear introduction.

• Extremely clear language was used throughout. Reading this article was fun and enjoyable as well as informative.

• As a result, the article was almost always easy to follow and informative.

2. Are the content, headings and sub-headings, diagrams, tables, graphs appropriate and do they indicate sufficient comprehension of the allocated topic?

• The content presented was always detailed, appropriate, and was usually likewise presented. The authors clearly knew the topic very well.

• The figures were very appropriate and excellent in almost all sections, and they helped convey sufficient comprehension of mast cells. Mentioned below, however, are a few cautionary notes to keep in mind when revising.

• The title banner, student authored, makes for a great display of the topic, though it seems a relatively minor edit. The authors should be aware that the picture is missing the addendum that the picture is being used a part of a student project. Look to the labs for a detailed account of the information that needs to be included with each picture added to the wiki.

• A glossary is currently short, but a helpful addition to the wiki page.

• This has been a common error in other projects, and this cautionary note will not be repeated for the other sections so as not to be too onerous, but be sure to cite review articles, such as reference [1], as “as reviewed in [1]”.

• Introduction: The introduction is very clear and straightforward and delivers a very clear description of mast cell. The introduction touches on all of the aspects of structure, function, development, and disease, previewing the sections to follow, without becoming overly detailed. In general, this is a brilliant introduction. The way in which the introduction does not assume that the reader already knows the biochemical and functional significance of immunological structures such as granulocytes is very friendly to the reader. It is helpful that the citations are throughout.

• History: Timeline is very detailed and appropriately cited. The timeline seems to be just the right length to give the reader a comprehensive picture of the history of mast cells without presenting excessive details.

• Morphology: The section of morphology gives a very clear explanation of the specialized structure of mast cells while even touching briefly on the function and development underlying this structure. The picture, which is appropriately referenced, gives a truly rewarding depiction of secretory granules. The accompanying information is clearly stated at an appropriate level for this course, supplying easily understood, yet valuable information such as “Mast cells possess other organelles such as mitochondria, golgi [sic] apparatus, endoplasmic reticulum, and ribosomes”. The picture is appropriately mentioned in the text. The only critique that ought to be made is that the excellent figure should be given an original name.

• Function: This section is worded very well and gave me a clear understanding of the multiple functions of mast cells without becoming too technical. In fact, the author of this section clearly made an effort to understand the complex content and make it more accessible. The citations remain integrated. The only suggestion that comes to mind is that the author tries splitting this section into further subsections of Immune System and Wound Healing/Tissue repair. This is another excellently composed section.

• Origin and Migration, Differentiation, Activation, Mediators, and Degranulation: These sections are worded very well and, in particular, gave me a clear understanding of the steps in mast cell developmental origin and migration and beyond. The first figure is very instructive for showing where mast cells fit in immune cell development, as well as detailing some of the techniques used to better understand mast cell development. The only thing that really ought to be kept in mind with this section is that the figures provided requires an informative title, and the content provided when clicking on the picture should be revised. If you are unsure how to do this, be sure to review the relevant section in the introductory labs. The student authored table and following Mast cell signaling pathway picture are very helpful in describing otherwise complicated genetics and cellular signaling pathways in simple terms. The linked video to mast cell degranulation is a beautiful and informative resource.

• Pathology: This section and its many subsections contain clear complete citations for the references. The citations are integrated into the text well, but are missing from some of the content in the tables. The quality of writing in is superb and conveys a sophisticated understanding the highly technical content. The content is perhaps covered in some excessive detail, as it is easily the longest section in the wiki, and seems to be about as long as or longer than the other sections combined. It would seem a shame to cut down on such a well-crafted review of the maladies associated with Mast cells. In particular, the figures and tables are well distributed throughout the otherwise confusing text and are very beneficial to the comprehension of such text. I would remark one cautionary comment that, for figures such as Mast Cell Role in Asthma, it appears that the copyright notice does not grant you full access to reusing the diagram on this wiki unless you have obtained separate permission: “All of the material available from the PMC site is provided by the respective publishers or authors. Almost all of it is protected by U.S. and/or foreign copyright laws, even though PMC provides free access to it. (See Public Domain Material below, for one exception.) The respective copyright holders retain rights for reproduction, redistribution and reuse. Users of PMC are directly and solely responsible for compliance with copyright restrictions and are expected to adhere to the terms and conditions defined by the copyright holder. Transmission, reproduction, or reuse of protected material, beyond that allowed by the fair use principles of the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners. U.S. fair use guidelines are available from the Copyright Office at the Library of Congress.” This section is comprehensive and detailed.

• Further Notes about sections: It might be unnecessary to include a section for Current Research as such as been integrated throughout the wiki already. Still, as the final section on Pathogenesis is so expansive and detailed, it might be wise to include a separate brief conclusion to bring the reader back to the crucial points of mast cells.

3. Are citation and references for the topic appropriate?

• The citations were plentiful and comprehensive, with only minor exceptions mentioned above. It is worth reminding, however, that information cited from review articles needs to be identified as such.

• No major citation errors were immediately apparent in the wiki document, but it would be a wise course of action to double check for any errors, as any mistakes would be a serious source of concern. This is especially relevant for the occasional instances mentioned in which the copyright permissions of the images is questionable.

4. Is the wiki instructive to peers by making use of insightful diagrams, tables or figures and/or examples or explanations authored by the group members? • The wiki did present material in a very friendly and instructive manner to peers.

• There were multiple student created images, and they were very effective in clarifying the otherwise complicated associated concepts.

• The figures have appropriate descriptive names, except in the aforementioned cases where there are no descriptive names provided at all.

• There were multiple excellent pictures and figures provided.

5. Is it clear that dedicated research has been conducted to connect basic and applied sciences, and does the effort go beyond the formal class material?

• Dedicated research and connections were made throughout the project. Well done.

• The students displayed considerable effort to go beyond the formal class material to research their topic in depth. In the case of pathology, this research is perhaps too extensive and lengthy, but it was nevertheless clearly conveyed and valuable reading.

6. Does the group relate the content of the wiki to the primary learning aims of cell biology?

The primary learning aims of cell biology are to understand the relationship of structure and function within the cell as well as broadly within the tissue and organism.

• The project clearly addresses structure and function within the section physiology. The parts of the section physiology pertaining to activity within the tissue and the section of pathology helped to put mast cells in the context of the rest of the body.

7. Final thoughts

Reading this wiki page on mast cells was incredibly informative and helpful toward advancing understanding of them. The structure and delivery of the information extremely well worded and presented at an accessible level, nonetheless rich in scientific content. The main areas of focus should be a Conclusion section and expanded Glossary, but in truth there is very little criticism to offer. Double check those figure copyright permissions. At the end of the day, this just simply appears to be a top notch project. Incredible work, and good luck with finalising your project in the coming weeks.

Review Group 5

The introduction drew together all of the major points really well- I liked each point followed logically from the previous (e.g. “the major role of mast cells in pathogen recognition is supported by their location…”). Compared with the other projects I read, the history section was well selected- each discovery was significant and it was well balanced from early times to recently. T he morphology and function sections were very clear. However, they were far too brief- I think these two sections should be the most in depth (since the course stresses structure and function). What you have is a good overview, but within each point should then go into some of the more complex findings- using research papers. Just to use one point as an example, you say “Mast cells have the ability to release selective mediators without degranulation, which means an anaphylactic reaction will not occur.” Just looking at the abstract of the source you used, there is a lot of complexity in this single process which you should elaborate on: e.g. the researchers found that “the process appears to involve de novo synthesis of mediators, such as IL-6 and vascular endothelial growth factor”. This will give a more in depth understanding of the processes involved in certain functions, which I think is required in this project. The rest of the project was very clear. The images, including your hand drawn one, were well selected and well explained in the caption but you should refer to them within the text to explain their relevance. The pathology section went into a lot of detail, but like I mentioned it was disproportionate when compared to function and structure. I thought it enhanced the rest of the project because it was linked specifically with how normal mast cell function can become pathogenic in certain conditions. Overall the project was the most well explained I read but lacked in the two most important sections, as well lacking in depth reference to research articles.


Group 5: Information: Information was presented well, in a logical sequence. Scientific jargon was defined throughout to enable understanding of the finer details. Some parts may require further explanation of relevance to create better understanding. For example, in the “Function” section, terminology such as TGF-ß1 was quite poorly explained. Depth of information: There was good depth of research to gain sufficient understanding. However, at times the abundance in detail was a bit overwhelming. There was great depth and scope of reading and research as shown by the variety of references used. Conciseness and Readability: Overall, paragraphs had an organised flow of information and direction which enhanced the readability of long sections of text. The use of tables summarised information well in a concise and readable manner. Very few spelling and grammatical errors made text easy to read and professional. Layout and Images: Layout was neat and organised with good use of headings and expansion tables. There was good use of images to support corresponding text. Images were labelled well and were relevant to the topics presented. There was also correct use of citation and referencing of images. Good use of hyperlinking to support further understanding of text. Referencing: There was extensive referencing throughout paragraphs of text. Referencing was also correct, generally consistent and orderly.

Project Sub-Topic

Z5015719 (talk) 18:14, 22 March 2016 (AEDT) hey guys! so does anyone have any preferences for which topic to do? I feel like they'd all be quite good, the options from red blood cell to monocyte/ macrophage look particularly good to me in terms of the marking criteria and so does the mast cell but again they all look pretty good to do. Thoughts?


History section is good but would look better and be easier to read if organized as a table. A diagram would add value in the morphology section. Three of the diagrams are not referenced (lineage, precursors and activation). Some sentences need to be reworded to make better sense and flow well – “Similarly to all allergic diseases”.

Z5017292 (talk) 18:26, 22 March 2016 (AEDT)I would be happy with any of these topics really, if i had to choose then maybe mast cells would be my first choice. What is everyone else thinking?

Z5015719 (talk) 12:12, 23 March 2016 (AEDT) Mast cells sound good! so maybe we should just keep that as a tentative first option until everyone else posts what they think?

Z5017292 (talk) 12:24, 23 March 2016 (AEDT)I think that sounds like a plan.

Z5017292 (talk) 10:43, 24 March 2016 (AEDT)I've added the heading Mast Cells to our page because we needed to decide on a topic before the lab.

Z3462124 (talk) 11:06, 24 March 2016 (AEDT)

  • Cell surface specialisations
  • History of the cell and research
  • Functions

Z3462124 (talk) 11:41, 24 March 2016 (AEDT)

These two articles are review articles but they're a good place to star for background info and to find primary articles.

PMID 20176269

PMID 22577358

Z3463953 (talk)


Ok, so here is the brainstormed list of suggested subtopics: ○ Introductory paragraph ○ History § Current research § Future research ○ Morphology/structure ○ Physiology ○ Biochemistry ○ Pathology ○ CNS/ autism ○ Staining----- ○ glossary

By week 5, let's all have read the wikipedia page on mast cells, read those 4 research articles and decide which sections we're going to write!

Z5015719 (talk) 12:28, 24 March 2016 (AEDT) I just took down some notes about the marking criteria:

  • content - correctly cited and referenced: referenced source, copyright info, student image template, reference appears with the image 
  • don’t cite review article as original research- there is no new information here 
  • element of teaching to peer level 
  • citation of literature, put to date research in area (published in the last 2 years etc) - current areas of research about the cell 
  • Identify key research labs that are researching on the topic: external links that is researching something specific about the cell 
  • feedback in the group discussion (positive criticism) 
  • animations, videos (yt) (insert link), 
  • At least one image is a student drawn image 

Z5015719 (talk) 19:45, 22 April 2016 (AEST)

PMID 26976119 - this is a review article but its a good source for information on the role of mast cells in allergic diseases which is really good for our own discussion for the pathology section

PMID 12895603 - this one is also a review article, and its about the role of mast cells in asthma which gives really good background information for the pathology section as allergic diseases is a major part of mast cell function so this article is just a good source of information for this subtopic

Z3462124 (talk) 12:51, 27 April 2016 (AEST) Guys this article PMC2761150 has some good diagrams and information about physiology of mast cells- it is a review but still super useful

Lab 3 Assessment

Four article summaries on one selected sub-section


Role of Mast Cells in disease and examples of diseases.

Z3462124 (talk) 11:27, 30 March 2016 (AEDT)


The aim of this article was to analyse the relationship between mast cells and the glycoslphosphatidylinositol-anchored molecule CD48, and the role of this relationship in the recognition (and immune response) of pathogenic E. coli via FimH. Malaviya demonstrated that CD48 binding to E. coli that expressed FimH could be inhibited by pretreatment of mast cells with CD48 antibodies. It was further shown that FimH-expressing E. coli effectively binds to recombinant CD48 in a cell free system and that the insertion of cDNA encoding rat CD48 into CHO (Chinese Hamster Ovary) cells resulted in CD48 acting as functional FimH receptors. Additionally, they found that pretreatment of Bone Marrow mast cells with increasing concentrations of phospholipase C resulted in a significant reduction in mast cell ability to release TNF-a (therefore decreasing neutrophil chemotaxis) after exposure to FimH-expressing E. coli. Therefore, it was shown that mast cells TNF-a response to FimH expressing bacteria is mediated by CD48 molecules which could be clinically significant in the immune response to pathogenic E. coli in the immunocompromised. [1]

This article would be useful when talking about the role of mast cells in disease as it talks about the relationship between mast cells and the FimH expressing bacteria (specifically E. coli). An understanding of the mechanisms of recognition and the immune response to bacterial pathogens is an important section of the cells role in disease. This study also explains the implications of the environment surrounding the mast cell on their ability to efficiently carry out normal functions and the effects that would have on the pathogenesis of a disease. Finally, the study also provides an explanation of the clinical significance of its findings and a possible treatment for the immunocompromised.

Mast Cell Infiltration of Colon Cancer development[2]


This study analyses the quantity of mast cell infiltration into colon tissues identified with different pathologies, including colonic polyps, well-differentiated colonic adenocarcinoma and poorly-differentitated colonic adenocarcinoma. The analysis of mast cell infiltration aimed to understand the relationship between mast cell presence and the development of colorectal cancer. Bone Marrow mast cells were co-cultured with colon cancer cells for 24-48 hours and the increase in the rate of colon cancer cell proliferation in the co-cultutred group compared to a control group indicated that colon cancer cell proliferation is significantly promoted by mast cells. It was also identified that colon chance cell migration occurred quicker in the co-cultured group where mast cells were present. After confirming that mast cell play a significant role in colon cancer cell proliferation and migration, both in vivo and in vitro, regulatory pathways of this process were analysed. It was demonstrated that mast cells promote colon cancer cell invasion and angiogenesis through MAPK/Rho-GTPase/STATs pathways. Finally, it was determined that colon tumour development can be significantly controlled via Fcε-PE40 chimeric toxin, killing mast cells without inducing degranulation and anaphylactic reaction. [3]

The major benefit and relevance of this article to the sub-section of the role of mast cells in disease, is that it demonstrates and explains an example of the negative role of mast cells in the pathogenesis of a disease. This study provides an interesting perspective on the role of mast cells in disease as they are typically thought to be cells that aid the hosts defence system rather than a stimulant of the pathogen. This article also provides an explanation of the clinical significance on their findings and suggests a possible treatment in reducing colon tutor development.


In this study, the underlying mechanisms of extracellular anti-microbal activity and mechanisms of mast cells was analysed using the bacteria S. pyogenes to exclude influence of mast cell phagocytic function. Results demonstrated that extracellular anti-microbal activity was carried out through the production of extracellular traps. It was observed that S. pyogenes growth was inhibited by human mast cells when in close proximity in a co-culture, but phagocytosis of the pathogen did not occur. Fluorescent staining of the human mast cell DNA, S. pyogenes and cathelicidin LL-37 (release by mast cells) depicted the entrapment of the pathogen in a highly defined structure containing DNA. This structure was associated with the extracellular presence of LL-37. Histones and tryptase were also recognised to be other structural components of the mast cell extracellular trap. Mast cell extracellular trap formation was demonstrated to be a result of mast cell death, a process dependent on the production of reactive oxygen species which indicated that mast cell extracellular trap formation was an active and controlled process in response to specific stimuli. This study is the first to demonstrate the formation of extracellular traps by immune cells other than neutrophils. [4]

This article is beneficial to the understanding of the role of mast cells in disease because it provides information on additional ways that mast cells influence immune response. The study outlines the formation of extra-cellular traps, a mechanism initially thought to be exclusion to neutrophils, and their role in the response to pathogens. Furthermore, it broadens the knowledge and understanding of the physiology of mast cells by presenting it as a complex cell with many mechanisms in the immune response.


The effect of histamine release, by mast cells, on the maturation of immature dendritic cells and the subsequent differentiation of naive CD4+ T cells into either Th1 or Th2 phenotypes and cytokine release was analysed in the above study. It is already known that histamine plays a major role in atopic diseases such as allergy, anaphylaxis and even asthma, however, this study demonstrates that histamines direct action on immature dendritic cells can influence the development of adaptive responses. This was supported by the observation that dendritic cells matured in a histamine rich culture polarised naive CD4+ T cells towards the Th2 phenotype. It was observed that the histamine secretion by mast cells was able to regulate the secretion of cytokines and chemokines, particularly down regulating the production of IL-12, a cytokine crucial for the development of Th1 responses. The data collected in the study also demonstrated that histamine can upregulate the expression of CD86 within dendritic cells (a component necessary for Th2 phenotype responses). Therefore, this study proposes that elevated levels of IgE and Th2 cells often present in atopic diseases could be established by a positive feedback loop of mast cell histamine release promoting Th2 phenotype differentiation and therefore IgE production, ultimately resulting in further histamine production and the positive feedback loop. [5]

Similarly to the above article, this study produces another mechanism that mast cells utilise to aid in the body's response to pathogens. This article is particularly interesting because it presents mast cells as a complex mediator of T cell maturation (towards the Th2 phenotype) through the establishment of a positive feedback loop of histamine secretion.


Z5017292 (talk) 20:08, 5 April 2016 (AEST)

Sub-Topic: Mast Cell Pathology

Article Source: Blockade of Mast Cell Activation Reduces Cutaneous Scar Formation Chen L, Schrementi ME, Ranzer MJ, Wilgus TA, DiPietro LA (2014) Blockade of Mast Cell Activation Reduces Cutaneous Scar Formation. PLoS ONE 9(1): e85226. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0085226

PMID 24465509

This research article explores the role of Mast cells in tissue repair, and particularly their influence on the formation of scar tissue. Mast cells are among the first cells to respond to any trauma to the body and initiate an immune response. They are present in scar tissue and the activated cells can cause excess inflammation and scar tissue to develop. This study used mice to demonstrate the effect of Mast cells on scar tissue formation. The mice were injected with a Mast cell inhibitor called disodium cromoglycate (DSCG). They were injected shortly before receiving a small 3mm incisional wound, and then given additional doses after the wounding. The results showed that the DSCG treated mice showed a reduced scar width compared to the control group. The wound breaking strength was not affected by DSCG as both the DSCG treated group and the control group displayed similar wound strength. There was less wound inflammation in the DSCG treated mice but the Mast cell inhibitor DSCG did not affect re-epithelialisation. These results suggest that Mast cell blockade has an affect on the formation of scar tissue as it reduces scar tissue formation but does not weaken the healed wound. This article is quite relevant to my topic sub-section ‘Mast cell pathology’ as it examines the role of Mast cells in tissue repair and concludes that these cells do in fact have an effect on tissue repair and scar formation. Mast cells are often seen as important in hypersensitivity reactions, so it is nice to get information on their role in other processes such as inflammation and repair.[6]

300px] Light photomicrographs of metachromatic MCs in mesenteries by toluidine blue staining. [7]

Article Source: Mast Cells Modulate Acute Toxoplasmosis in Murine Models Huang B, Huang S, Chen Y, Zheng H, Shen J, et al. (2013) Mast Cells Modulate Acute Toxoplasmosis in Murine Models. PLoS ONE 8(10): e77327. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0077327

PMID 24146978

This study examines the role of Mast cells in the pathogenesis of the disease Toxoplasmosis. The researchers infected mice with toxoplasma gondii and injected them with either a Mast cell inhibitor or a Mast cell activator, and then compared the levels of inflammation and parasite burden in the subjects. The results of the study revealed all of the infected mice died within 9-10 days regardless of what treatment they were given. Interestingly, the infected control mice showed severe inflammation and necrosis in the liver, but even more severe inflammation and necrosis was detected in the infected mice treated with the Mast cell activator. Conversely, the mice treated with the Mast cell inhibitor showed only mild inflammation and less necrosis. The infected mice treated with the Mast cell activator showed increased levels of parasite burden whereas the infected mice treated with the Mast cell inhibitor showed a decrease in parasite burden. These results suggest that Mast cells play an important role in parasite clearance and the inflammatory process associated with Toxoplasmosis. This indicates that Mast cells could be a potential topic for further research into controlling Toxoplasmosis.

This article is relevant to the pathology of mast cells as it demonstrates the role they play in defence against parasites. This shows that Mast cells can be quite diverse in function. It is interesting to have an article that explores the role of Mast cells in parasite defence because it shows they have a different function to the previous article that was summaries, which described their role in tissue repair. [7]

Article Source: Familial Occurrence of Systemic Mast Cell Activation Disease Molderings GJ, Haenisch B, Bogdanow M, Fimmers R, Nöthen MM (2013) Familial Occurrence of Systemic Mast Cell Activation Disease. PLoS ONE 8(9): e76241. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0076241

PMID 24098785

This article focuses on systemic Mast cell activation disease (MCAD) and particularly whether it can be inherited or not. Prior to this study, knowledge of familial occurrence of MCAD was very limited, but now it is thought that it may be more frequent than anticipated. The study analysed 84 patients who have MCAD and tested their first-degree relatives for the disease. The results showed that 74% of the patients had at least one relative who also had the disease. The study suggests that the prevalence of MCAD is higher among families who contain a MCAD sufferer than just the general population. This could point to a genetic link to familial occurrence as opposed to just an environmental link. This study could be a stepping stone to more research into inheritance of MCAD. This article is relevant as it explains a disorder associated with Mast cells and provides a possible explanation of how to disease is contracted. It could be interesting for the group project to include information about MCAD as it explores the effects of Mast cells on the body when they are not functioning properly. [8]

Article Source: Apoptosis and Pro-inflammatory Cytokine Response of Mast Cells Induced by Influenza A Viruses Liu B, Meng D, Wei T, Zhang S, Hu Y, et al. (2014) Apoptosis and Pro-inflammatory Cytokine Response of Mast Cells Induced by Influenza A Viruses. PLoS ONE 9(6): e100109.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0100109

PMID 24923273

The aim of this article is to investigate the role of Mast cells in response to Influenza A infection. The article notes that Mast cells are believed to contribute to the pathogenesis of Influenza A virus, and so the study seeks to understand their contribution in further detail. The results of the study revealed that the H1N1, H5N1 and H7N2 viruses could cause mast cell apoptosis. This study was the first to uncover this information. The researchers also found that different strains of the Influenza virus caused different levels of Mast cell apoptosis. The production of the virus was impaired when the apoptosis of Mast cells was inhibited. The results of this study shed light on the role of Mast cells in defending the body against influenza, in particular how apoptosis affects the pathogenesis of influenza. This article is relevant as it demonstrates apoptosis in Mast cells, which is a defence mechanism that the cells can use when the body is under the threat of a disease. It is also interesting to have information on how Mast cells behave when under the threat of the Influenza virus because it is such a prevalent disease in the world. [9]


Structure/ morphology of mast cells

Z5015719 (talk) 22:17, 6 April 2016 (AEST)

Article Source: study of mast cells and granules from Primo Nodes using Scanning Ionic conductance microscopy

<pubmed> 26742911 </pubmed>

In this article, scanning ion conductance microscopy (SICM) is used to study the three dimensional structure of live mast cells, and the distribution of mast cell granules in each of their four developmental stages. This was done in the in the primo node (PN) of the primo vascular system from the surfaces of the large and small intestines, abdominal walls and bladder of rats, as mast cells are found to be in abundance here. Through the use of SICM, the mast cells were easily observed through the presence of their granule structures, and by the use of toludine blue stain. SICM methods were able to obtain a 3D image of these mast cells, with the surface of the cells densely covered with granules. Through this, it was able to be determined that the structure of the mast cell included 74 granules, with an average diameter of 1.2 micrometers. Upon further analysis, early stages of degranulation of the mast cell in stage 2 showed a granule-free region in the middle upper portion of the cell. In addition, the mast cell in stage 3 showed very sparse remnants of granules on the upper most parts of the cell surface. Here, SICM picked up the disintegrated boundary of the mast cell as having an appearance of laced patches, with a diameter of 1.6 micrometers. It was observed that the height of the mast cell progressively decreased with each stage, while the round shape and diameters of the granules remained the same.

This article was useful to the subtopic of mast cell structure, as it provided a detailed analysis of the structure and appearance of mast cells in their various developmental stages, with a focus on the mast cell granules during these stages. The graunles are an essential component of mast cell structure as these are secreted when mast cells are triggered, thus making it important to understand its structure. Hence, this article was useful in the research of the structure and morphology of mast cells. [10]

Article Source: A method for detailed analysis of the structure of mast cell secretory granules by negative contrast imaging

<pubmed> 26997316 </pubmed>

A 3d Image of the mast cell. Secretory granules are illustrated in white, and the nucleus and cell body are shown in the cyan and grey areas.[11]

An essential aspect of mast cell structure is the large number of secretory granules (SG) found in the cytoplasm. These elicit inflammation through molecules including histamine and serotonin. Several models suggest that a single mast cell has a large number of different types of secretory granules, all in various stages of development. Secretory granules also contain lysosomal proteins and markers such as CD63, and are hence lysosomal granules.

In order properly study the structure of mast cells, this study aims to gain insight into the structure and organisation of SGs via negative contrast imaging (NCI). Within the mast cell, organelles such as SGs are separated from the cytoplasm by a lipid bilayer, and this method uses microscopy techniques in order to visualise negatively stained organelles. These NCI techniques highlight the presence of small outlines in the perinuclear region surrounded by large, spherical shapes. NCI usage in this study also identified key structures such as the cell body, nucleoli, nuclear membrane as well as the mitochondria. The structural appearance of mast cell SGs was found to be either single elongated structures or a cluster of multiple spherical structures strung together. Experimental data indicated SGs are cylindrical in shape, and fuse along the vertical axis, highlighting polarity in structure. Further, time lapse observation during the cell cycle showed that SGs increase in abundance with cell size, but are under continuous control to maintain size distribution. This data is important as mast cell proliferation in peripheral tissues is an issue of interest in allergy treatment.

Thus, this article was beneficial in facilitating knowledge in the sub topic of mast cell morphology as it sheds light on the structure of mast cell SGs, including their organelle volume, size and number using NCI techniques. These methods can ultimately provide more information on the detailed molecular mechanisms of SG biogenesis in mast cells. [12]

Article Source: Phospholipase D2: A Pivotal Player Modulating RBL-2H3 Mast Cell Structure

<pubmed> 22344748 </pubmed>

This article examines the role of PLD2 in mast cell structure maintenance. It is thought that PLD plays a key role in mast cell degranulation, and PLD2 is essential in maintaining the structure of mast cells. The study examined if differences in PLD2 expression reflected upon alternations in morphology of the mast cells, with different cell lines being used, and was found that the inactive form of PLD2 has a dramatic effect on the morphology of these cells. The morphology of secretory granules was also determined, with these granules being heterogeneous in some cell lines include PDL2Ca, but having an electron lucid content in others. It was thus found through this study that the overexpression of the inactive form of PLD2 has a dramatic effect on the structure of mas cells, thus suggesting that the production of PA by PLD2 assists in the structural maintenance of the cytoskeleton, golgi complex as well as influencing the distribution of lysosomes and secretory granules in mast cells.

This article is hence relevant to the sub topic of mast cell structure as it highlights the specific role of PLD2 in the maintenance of the structure and morphology of the mast cell, as well as the structures within the cell. Thus, this article is beneficial as it provides a background knowledge regarding the way in which the specific structure of the cell is maintained. [13]

Article Source: NOD1 and NOD2 Interact with the Phagosome Cargo in Mast Cells: A Detailed Morphological Evidence

<pubmed> 25502289 </pubmed>

This article analyses the detailed structure of the mast cell, and in particular, the mast cell phagosome, as it has key functions in triggering the inflammatory process and has phagocytic properties. The mast cells express NOD1 and NOD2 proteins whose role is to recognize intracellular foreign components and initiate cytokine synthesis. In this study, five experiments were conducted in which mast cells were incubated with E. coli and at least 100 cells were analysed in order to determine the main morphology in each cell population. The maturation of the paghosome structure of the mast cells was also followed closely, and the outside leaflet of the mast cell plasma membrane was able to be distinguished. As structure was analysed, it was seen that many granules were interacting with the phagosome, with the phagosome membrane structure undergoing remodeling over time. It was also established that the phagosome membrane is interrupted in places in direct contact with the granule components, and these interruptions were observed at sites of granule-phagosome interaction. Additionally, NOD1 and NOD2 were found to be associated with granule surface or the granule matrix of the mast cell. The article was thus useful for this particular subtopic as it analyses the structure and morphology of the various components of the mast cell, such as the phagosome. It is beneficial to gain some perspective on the structure of the phagosome that is heavily involved in inflammatory processes, which is a key function of the mast cell. [14]


1- Mast cell activation syndrome: a newly recognized disorder with systemic clinical manifestations

Matthew J Hamilton, Jason L Hornick, Cem Akin, Mariana C Castells, Norton J Greenberger Mast cell activation syndrome: a newly recognized disorder with systemic clinical manifestations. J. Allergy Clin. Immunol.: 2011, 128(1);147-152.e2 PubMed 21621255 [edit]

File:Histology of intestine, staining for mast cells.jpg[2] Summary: People who suffer from systemic mastocytosis have clinical manifestations that are characteristic of mast cell mediator release. A similar disorder called monoclonal mast cell activation sydrome (MCAS) has an unclarified clinical manifestation. Unlike mastocytosis the patient doesn’t have abnormally high levels of mast cells (MCs), rather, the MCs they have express chemical mediators excessively. The aim of the study was to determine the clinical manifestations of MCAS and to compare it against the recently proposed diagnostic criteria. The authors of the paper ruled out clonal MC disease and found lab data indicative of MC activation. Further, the patients responded to anti-MC therapy. This was part of the classification used in this experiment to include patients as MCAS sufferers (this criteria was pre-established by previous research). The clinical manifestations and diagnostic criteria were consistent with one another. Almost all patients had abdominal pain, dermatographism or flushing. The research suggested that MCAS should have a more significant clinical profile due to its excellent response to anti-MC mediators. There were, however, some limitations such as: it was a nonblind study and there is no consensus as to a reference standard for number of mucosal mast cells in GIT.

2- John D Brannan, Johan Bood, Ahmad Alkhabaz, David Balgoma, Joceline Otis, Ingrid Delin, Barbro Dahlén, Craig E Wheelock, Parameswaran Nair, Sven-Erik Dahlén, Paul M O'Byrne The effect of omega-3 fatty acids on bronchial hyperresponsiveness, sputum eosinophilia, and mast cell mediators in asthma. Chest: 2015, 147(2);397-405 PubMed 25321659 [edit]

File:Data of PD15 (15% dec in FEV(1)) after 3 weeks of dietary Omega 3 PUFA.png[3] Summary: Poly-unsaturated fatty acids, such as some mast cell mediators, are involved in inflammation. Bronchial hyper-responsiveness (BHR) is a state of heightened sensitivity to bronchospasm that can occur as a result of mast cell mediator release in asthma and COPD. This study aimed to investigate whether dietary omega-3 PUFAs could inhibit mannitol-induced BHR. Mannitol induction of BHR mimics mast cell activation. The study was a randomize, double-blind, placebo controlled and crossover trial design. Patients suffered from asthma, did not smoke, and took omega-3s for 3 weeks. The omega 3 supplementation did not change the levels of mast cell pro-inflammatory mediator release. It is likely that it is more difficult to change the metabolic profile of mast cells than just by dietary intervention as the mast cell probably still has a significant reserve of pro-inflammatory lipids.

3- Daniel Smrz, Glenn Cruse, Michael A Beaven, Arnold Kirshenbaum, Dean D Metcalfe, Alasdair M Gilfillan Rictor negatively regulates high-affinity receptors for IgE-induced mast cell degranulation. J. Immunol.: 2014, 193(12);5924-32 PubMed 25378594 [edit]

File:MTOR and RICTOR in LAD2 cells in different environments.gif[4] Summary:

'Rapamycin-insensitive companion of mammalian target of rapamycin' (RICTOR) is a protein that regulates cell growth as a result of the presence nutrients and growth factors. This study showed that RICTOR can function as a negative regulator in igE induced mast cell degranulation, independent of other regulatory proteins like mTOR or mTOR2. They further showed at what stages in the molecular pathways the regulation took place. By analysing Ca2+ mobilisation and cytoskeletal rearrangement with confocal microscopy they were able to hypothesise that there was phosphorylation of certain proteins (LAT and PLCy1). They compared their results with a RICTOR knock-down model and found a decrease in igE induced degranulation

4- Zhuo Zhao, Hao Wang, Marina Lin, Leanne Groban GPR30 decreases cardiac chymase/angiotensin II by inhibiting local mast cell number. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun.: 2015, 459(1);131-6 PubMed 25712524 [edit]

File:Cardiac angiotensin (Ang) II levels in the left ventricles of sham-operated and ovariectomized (OVX) female rats.jpg[5] Summary: Estrogen seems to have protective effect on heart cells. It likely interacts via the receptor GPR30 which is expressed in the heart. Estrogen may even regulate components of hormone systems associated with the heart like the renin-angiotensin pathway. This study aimed to investigate whether the cardioprotective effects observed as a result of estrogen occur via GPR30. GPR30 has important regulatory roles in cardiac mast cell activity and proliferation. This experiment will be looking at the latter. The findings suggested that the effects of estrogen on cardiac mast cells/chymase/Ang II occur specifically through activation of GPR30 to decrease cardiac mast cell number. However, further investigations are needed for the exact mechanisms by which GPR30 affects cardiac mast cell number in vivo. Investigation in the mast cell GPR30/chymase/angII pathway could have therapeutic uses in postmenopausal women at risk of cardiovascular disease

Discussion continued

hey guys this review gives a great in depth background knowledge of mast cells and has great links to other primary research

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