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November 28, 1959

The Mast Cells

JAMA. 1959;171(13):1903. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010310135034

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The author of this monograph is a recognized authority on mast cells. Ever since their discovery by Ehrlich in 1877, a great deal has been written about these puzzling cells. Little new was added, however, until 1937, when Holmgren and Wilander showed that mast cells are the site of formation or storage of heparin, the natural anticoagulant of circulating blood. The next major contribution came from the author of this monograph, who brought forth impressive evidence that mast cells produce histamine.

The book consists of two main parts. The first is a review of the growth of our knowledge of mast cells, and the second is derived from the author's original investigations. His hypothesis of the origin of histamine in mast cells is convincingly supported by experimental evidence. The role played by mast cells in the skin of animals treated with carcinogenic agents is interesting. Those interested in the action

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