Mast Cells Can Enhance Resistance to Snake and Honeybee Venoms

Science  28 Jul 2006:
Vol. 313, Issue 5786, pp. 526-530
DOI: 10.1126/science.1128877

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text
As a service to the community, AAAS/Science has made this article free with registration.


Snake or honeybee envenomation can cause substantial morbidity and mortality, and it has been proposed that the activation of mast cells by snake or insect venoms can contribute to these effects. We show, in contrast, that mast cells can significantly reduce snake-venom–induced pathology in mice, at least in part by releasing carboxypeptidase A and possibly other proteases, which can degrade venom components. Mast cells also significantly reduced the morbidity and mortality induced by honeybee venom. These findings identify a new biological function for mast cells in enhancing resistance to the morbidity and mortality induced by animal venoms.

View Full Text

Cited By...