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April 29, 1968

Mastocytosis and the Mast Cell

JAMA. 1968;204(5):409. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140180059036

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The number of monographs and review articles on the mast cell that have appeared in recent years is nothing short of amazing. I should not be surprised by a claim that the mast cell was a close runner-up to the lymphocyte in the category of the vertebrate cell type to which the greatest number of written words has been devoted. If it was further purported that a large part of the accumulated verbiage represented a rather immodest cloak for our ignorance, who would say nay? Although isolated facts of one sort or another accumulate monthly in the journals and subsequently are artfully arranged into monographs along with a dash of enterprising philosophy, knowledge of the place of the mast cell in the bodily economy of the vertebrates remains scant. Any hopes that the misfortunes of those afflicted with mast cell disease might provide important leads for a proper understanding of