Bone marrow - nonneoplastic
Normal
Mast cells

Author: Dragos Luca, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 5 July 2017, last major update August 2012

Copyright: (c) 2002-2017, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Bone marrow mast cells [title]

Cite this page: Mast cells. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/bonemarrowmastcells.html. Accessed September 23rd, 2017.
Definition / general
  • Part of the immune system; functionally and structurally closely related to basophils but current evidence indicates that immediate precursors are different
  • Arise from same progenitor cell population as neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils and monocytes (CD34+, c-kit+, CD13+)
  • Production driven by stem cell factor (c-kit ligand), thrombopoietin, FLT3 ligand and IL6
  • Mast cells leave bone marrow and circulate in immature form, mature at tissue site (basophils mature in bone marrow)
  • Play a central role in allergic reactions through IgE receptor mediated responses; granules are rich in histamine and heparin
  • Also have protective role in wound healing, defense against pathogens
  • Stem cell factor is crucial for their development, proliferation and maturation (Immunol Res 2006;34:97)
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Rare in normal marrow, usually concentrated within particles on aspirate smears and perivascular on biopsy sections
  • Larger (up to 100%) than basophils with irregular, elongated spindle shapes and cytoplasmic extensions
  • Cytoplasm is packed with basophilic granules that may obscure nuclear margin; nucleus is round and single (lobated in basophils)
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on PathOut server:

Mast cells



Images hosted on other servers:

Mast cells


Spindle mast cell

Mast cells in kidney (various images)

Purple (metachromatic) granules with toluidine blue

Positive stains
Negative stains
Electron microscopy images

Images hosted on PathOut server:

Various images