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Segura-Villalobos, Deisy; Ramirez-Moreno, Itzel G; Martinez-Aguilar, Magnolia; Ibarra-Sanchez, Alfredo; Munoz-Bello, J. Omar; Anaya-Rubio, Isabel; Padilla, Alejandro; Macias-Silva, Marina; Lizano, Marcela; Gonzalez-Espinosa, Claudia (2022)

MAST CELL-TUMOR INTERACTIONS: MOLECULAR MECHANISMS OF RECRUITMENT, INTRATUMORAL COMMUNICATION AND POTENTIAL THERAPEUTIC TARGETS FOR TUMOR GROWTH

Cells 11(3):
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Mast cells (MCs) are tissue-resident immune cells that are important players in diseases associated with chronic inflammation such as cancer. Since MCs can infiltrate solid tumors and promote or limit tumor growth, a possible polarization of MCs to pro-tumoral or anti-tumoral phenotypes has been proposed and remains as a challenging research field. Here, we review the recent evidence regarding the complex relationship between MCs and tumor cells. In particular, we consider: (1) the multifaceted role of MCs on tumor growth suggested by histological analysis of tumor biopsies and studies performed in MC-deficient animal models; (2) the signaling pathways triggered by tumor-derived chemotactic mediators and bioactive lipids that promote MC migration and modulate their function inside tumors; (3) the possible phenotypic changes on MCs triggered by prevalent conditions in the tumor microenvironment (TME) such as hypoxia; (4) the signaling pathways that specifically lead to the production of angiogenic factors, mainly VEGF; and (5) the possible role of MCs on tumor fibrosis and metastasis. Finally, we discuss the novel literature on the molecular mechanisms potentially related to phenotypic changes that MCs undergo into the TME and some therapeutic strategies targeting MC activation to limit tumor growth.