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mast cell

noun, Biology.
a large granular cell, common in connective tissue, that produces heparin, histamine, and serotonin.
Origin of mast cell
1885-90; partial translation of German Mastzelle, equivalent to Mast fattening of animals for slaughter, mast2 + Zelle cell Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for mast cell
Historical Examples
  • The mast cell granulations are stained pure blue, the eosinophil red, the neutrophil in mixed colour.

    Histology of the Blood Paul Ehrlich
  • The substance of the mast cell granulations is also crystalline in some species of animals.

    Histology of the Blood Paul Ehrlich
British Dictionary definitions for mast cell

mast cell

a type of granular basophil cell in connective tissue that releases heparin, histamine, and serotonin during inflammation and allergic reactions
Word Origin
C19: from mast², on the model of German Mastzelle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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mast cell in Medicine

mast cell n.
A cell found in connective tissue that contains numerous basophilic granules and releases substances such as heparin and histamine in response to injury or inflammation of bodily tissues. Also called labrocyte, mastocyte.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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mast cell in Science
mast cell
A granular cell found in body tissue, especially connective tissue, that activates inflammation by releasing a variety of chemical substances including histamine, tumor necrosis factor, and interleukins. Mast cells have membrane receptors that bind to bacteria, triggering the release of inflammatory mediators from the mast cell's cytoplasmic granules. Mast cells also play an important role in allergic reactions. Other receptors on their membranes bind to specific antibodies that, combined with certain antigens, initiate granular release of chemical mediators that cause allergic signs and symptoms.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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