- Mast cell
- A connective tissue cell whose normal function is unknown, the mast cell is frequently injured during allergic reactions, releasing strong chemicals including histamine into the tissues and blood that are very irritating and cause itching, swelling, and fluid leaking from cells. These allergic chemicals can also cause muscle spasm and lead to lung and throat tightening as is found in asthma and loss of voice.
* * *mast cell 'mast- n a granulocyte that occurs esp. in connective tissue and has basophilic granules containing substances (as histamine and heparin) which mediate allergic reactions
* * *a large cell in connective tissue with many coarse cytoplasmic granules. These granules contain the chemicals heparin, histamine, and serotonin, which are released during inflammation and allergic responses.
* * *a type of connective tissue cell whose specific physiologic function remains unknown; it can elaborate basophilic, metachromatic, cytoplasmic granules that contain histamine and heparin in humans and serotonin in species such as the rat and mouse. Called also mastocyte and labrocyte.
Medical dictionary. 2011.