Adipocytes, mast cells and angiogenesis

Vol. 61 No. 4, 2020


Domenico Ribatti, Tiziana Annese, Roberto Tamma

Healthy adipose tissue contains a wide variety of innate and adaptive immune cells, including macrophages, dendritic cells, mast cells, eosinophils, neutrophils, and lymphocytes. Numerous signaling molecules in the adipose microenvironment can positively or negatively modulate angiogenic processes, regulate the interaction between the vascular system and adipocytes, and participate in tumor progression. Mast cells are involved in the new formation or metabolism of fat, are present in abundant quantities in fatty tissue, among fat cells, and a number of mediators released from mast cells play a role in adipogenesis. Moreover, mast cells produce several pro-angiogenic factors and are involved in tumor angiogenesis. In this context, the angiogenic effect might be amplified when the adipocytes and mast cells act in concert, and treatment of adipose tissue- and mast cell-associated cancers with anti-angiogenic drugs may represent an alternative or adjuvant strategy for the treatment of these tumors.

Corresponding author: Domenico Ribatti, Professor, MD, PhD; e-mail:

DOI: 10.47162/RJME.61.4.07 Download PDF
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