Mast cell

Mast cell

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This image is part of the feature The Vision Of Jeff Johnson

Credit: HYBRID MEDICAL ANIMATION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Mast cell, computer artwork. Mast cells are a type of leucocyte (white blood cell). They contain the chemical mediators histamine, serotonin and heparin. Histamine is released from mast cells in response to an allergen, causing a localized inflammatory immune response. When an allergen is encountered, B cells (not seen) produce immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies (Y-shaped). These bind to protein receptor molecules on the surface of the mast cell. When two antibodies are cross-linked with an antigen (orange) the cell is activated to release its histamine by exocytosis (lower right).

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Keywords: allergen, allergens, allergic response, antibodies, antibody, antigen, antigens, artwork, binding, biochemistry, biology, cell, cgi, computer artwork, cross-linked, cross-linking, cytology, digitally generated, exocytosis, graphic, histamine, human body, ige, illustration, immune system, immunoglobulin-e, immunoglobulins, immunology, leucocyte, leukocyte, mast cell, molecule, one, release, releasing, responding, secretion, single, surface receptor molecules, white blood cell

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