The mast cells are located deep in the lining membrane of the nose, generally near blood vessels and mucus-producing cells. The basophils are located primarily near the surface of the nasal lining. They are the first cells encountered by entering pollens and other allergens—and the first that are triggered to respond during an attack of allergic rhinitis. Each type of cell is able to produce a wide variety of chemical mediators for release during an allergic reaction (table 3-3). Some of these mediators, called preformed mediators, exist already formed in the cells, while others, the newly formed mediators, are formed only after an allergic reaction is triggered.

Chemical Mediators of Mast Cells and Basophil Cells
Preformed Mediators:
Histamine        Eosinophil chemotactic factor
Chymase        Neutrophil chemotactic factor
Tryptase        Heparin

Acid hydrolaxes

Newly Formed Mediators:
Leukotrienes        Prostaglandins

The Binding of IgE To Mast Cells and Basophils
Just as IgE has a binding site, the mast cells and basophil cells have a receiving site, or receptor, for the IgE binding site. Although this receptor will accept only IgE molecules, it will accept any type of IgE molecule. So, attached to any single mast cell or basophil cell can be a variety of different IgE antibodies: some made against ragweed, some against Johnson grass pollen, another against oak pollen, etc. Thousands of IgE molecules bind to each of these cells.

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