Working Group 3

Identification of biological and pharmaceutical mast cell and basophil related targets

  • Identification and characterization of receptors and signal transduction pathways that positively and negatively regulate mast cell/basophil functions
  • Action profile of mast cell/basophil mediators or direct cellular actions on target molecules, cells or tissues
  • Validation of above functions and activities in human mast cells/basophils
  • Evaluation of mast cell/basophil functions and activities  in preclinical models and after pharamacological

WG leader: Ulrich Blank (France)
Email: undefinedulrich.blank(at)

undefinedGroup members

Modulation of MC/Ba function

Modulation of MC/Ba activity

Validation in human MC/Ba

Pharmacology and preclinics

Mediator secretion pathways (pre- and neoformed)

Biology and effects of pre-formed mediators on targets

Validation in vitro culture systems

Pharmacological validation

Growth and differentiation pathways

Biology and effects of neo-formed mediators on targets

Validation in tissue

Preclinical models (cell culture systems experimental animal models)

Apoptosis pathways

Biology and effects of direct  interactions with  targets

Patient cohorts

Interaction pathways (cell-cell, cell-ECM, cell-nerve ...)

Migration and trafficking pathways

Other pathways

Deciphering new molecular mechanisms of mast cell activation

Mast cells are tissue-localized cells that play an important role in immunity and inflammation. Following an offensive event they act as cellular sensors that via the activation of cell surface receptors launch a cellular response culminating in the release of a whole set of inflammatory mediators and products. This response is initially destined to restore tissue homeostasis, but in case of chronic injury or deregulation also promotes pathology. To further understand the action of mast cells in their environmental context it is necessary to decipher the molecular mechanisms of their activation as well as the ensuing cellular responses. This will allow identification of new strategies to promote their beneficial actions or, at the contrary, to interfere with their pathological consequences. While in the past many studies have focused on responses engaged by high affinity IgE receptor because of its implication in the allergic response, it has become clear that mast cells can be activated by multiple types of receptors initiating an intense molecular crosstalk between receptors and signaling pathways that can either synergize, antagonize and in some cases produce new types of responses. Mast cells can indeed react with an astounding diverse array of cellular responses that sometimes are engaged selectively. This "Special Topic" will focus on selected articles that shed some new light on the molecular mechanisms of mast cell activation, the possible crosstalk between signaling pathways and the ensuing cellular responses that allow mast cells to act as cellular sensors in tissues.

Cost WG3 meeting in Southampton 24th of November 2011 5.10 to 5.40
Grand Harbour De Vere Hotel


1. Short descriptions of WG3 (5 min)
2. Specific actions of WG3  (15 min)
    a) specific topic proposal
    b) Constitution of sub working groups (list)
    c) Exchange activities (Cost programme, Marie Curie actions etc)
    c) Participation/organisation of Cost and EMBRN meeting, schools
    d) Organizational activities
        - catalogue of known and new target molecules for therapy
        - catalogue of protocols (interaction WG2)
        - catalogue of available clinical models
        - boost interactions with industry
3. Interaction with other working groups (5 min)
4. Masto-basowiki or masto-basopedia (5 min)
5. Miscellaneous

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