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Mohammad Mohajeri, Petri T. Kovanen, Vanessa Bianconi, Matteo Pirro, Arrigo F.G. Cicero, Amirhossein Sahebkar

Mar 1, 2019
Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Article Institutional access

Mast cells are tissue-resident cells, which have been proposed to participate in various inflammatory diseases, among them the cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). For mast cells to be able to contribute to an inflammatory process, they need to be activated to exocytose their cytoplasmic secretory granules. The granules contain a vast array of highly bioactive effector molecules, the neutral protease tryptase being the most abundant protein among them. The released tryptase may act locally in the inflamed cardiac or vascular tissue, so contributing directly to the pathogenesis of CVDs. Moreover, a fraction of the released tryptase reaches the systemic circulation, thereby serving as a biomarker of mast cell activation. Actually, increased levels of circulating tryptase have been found to associate with CVDs. Here we review the biological relevance of the circulating tryptase as a biomarker of mast cell activity in CVDs, with special emphasis on the relationship between activation of mast cells in their tissue microenvironments and the pathophysiological pathways of CVDs. Based on the available in vitro and in vivo studies, we highlight the potential molecular mechanisms by which tryptase may contribute to the pathogenesis of CVDs. Finally, the synthetic and natural inhibitors of tryptase are reviewed for their potential utility as therapeutic agents in CVDs.

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