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In the summer of 2012, I was asked if I had ever read anything about mast cells and Gadolinium or NSF. I vaguely remembered mast cells being mentioned in one study, but it obviously didn’t strike me as being important or I would have done some research on it then. But after digging around a bit, I came away thinking that there might be a connection between mast cells and the disease progression of NSF/GASF.
For those who don’t know, mast cells are found in tissues throughout the body, particularly in association with structures such as blood vessels, peripheral nerves, in mucosal membranes, skin and subcutaneous tissue. Mast cells are bone marrow-derived and particularly dependent upon stem cell factor for their survival. They express a variety of phenotypic features within tissues that are determined by their local environment. Mast cells appear to be highly engineered cells with multiple critical biological functions. (more…)