Nautiyal, Katherine M.
Ph.D. thesis, Columbia University.
Mast cells are immune cells that are found in the brain. Behavioral and endocrine states increase the number and activation of brain mast cells, independent of the animal’s immune status. Activation causes the release of many neuro-active mediators into the brain parenchyma. However, the function or impact of mast cells in the brain has not been studied. The recruitment of mast cells to the brain, and their subsequent activation following a stressor suggests that they may have a role in regulating the stress response through interactions with neural systems. The goal of this thesis is to examine the functional role of brain mast cells using a mouse model. Mast cells are present in the mouse brain parenchyma, meninges and choroid plexus from birth throughout adulthood. A mast cell deficient (KitW-sh /W-sh) mouse is a strong model to study the effects of…
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