Understanding the mechanisms of anaphylaxis.
The present review considers recent reports that identify the roles of key intermediate signaling components and mediators during and after mast cell activation and degranulation leading to anaphylaxis.
Mechanisms of anaphylaxis are becoming better understood as the interaction of several regulatory systems in the mast cell activation and degranulation signaling cascade. Multiple tyrosine kinases, activated after immunoglobulin E binding to the high-affinity receptors for immunoglobulin E (FcepsilonRI), exert both positive and negative regulation on the signaling cascade, which may vary with genetic background or mutations in signaling proteins. Calcium influx, the essential, proximal intracellular event leading to mast cell degranulation, is controlled also by both negative and positive regulation through calcium channels. Sphingosine-1-phosphate is emerging as a newly realized mediator of anaphylaxis, acting as a signaling component within the mast cell and as a circulating mediator.
Anaphylaxis is a systemic reaction involving multiple organ systems, but it is believed that it may be influenced by cellular events in mast cells and basophils resulting in the release of mediators. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms of mast cell activation and degranulation is critical to understanding the mechanisms of anaphylaxis. Recent reports have identified important regulatory components of the signaling cascade and, consequently, potential targets for therapeutic intervention.