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Interplay between mast cells and hormones: Part 1 of 8

Hormone Location released Major functions Interaction with mast cells Reference
Activin Ovaries Promotes FSH production and secretion 

Enhances activity of LH


Promotes wound healing


Stimulates mast cell maturation 

Activin causes mast cells to increase expression of a gene (TAP) that in turn promotes more activin activity

Funaba M, et al. Identified of tocopherol-associated protein as an activing/TGFb inducible gene in mast cells. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta – Molecular Cell Research 2006: 1768 (8), 900-906.
Adiponectin Adipose tissue, placenta Increase insulin sensitivity and transfer of glucose to cells from blood 

Protect against metabolic syndrome, diabetes mellitus and NASH


Suppress production of glucose

Mast cells regulate formation of adipose tissue 

PGD2 drives differentiation of fibroblasts into adipocytes


Adiponectin may be associated with asthma in obese patients

Nigro E, et al. Role of adiponectin in sphingosine-1-phosphate induced airway hyperresponsiveness and inflammation. Pharmacological Research 2016: 103, 114-122. 

Reena*, et al. Mast cell stabilizers obviate high fat diet-induced renal dysfunction in rats. European Journal of Pharmacology 2016: 777, 96-103.

Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)/ corticotropin Pituitary Stimulates corticosteroid and androgen synthesis and release in response to physical or emotional stress Binding at pituitary histamine H4 receptors induces release of ACTH 

Anaphylaxis and reactions trigger release of CRH, increasing release of ACTH

Meng J, et al. Histamine H4 receptors regulate ACTH in AtT-20 cells. European Journal of Pharmacology 2008, 587: 335-336. 

Theoharides TC, et al. Mast cells and inflammation. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 2012: 1822, 21-33.

Aldosterone and other mineralocorticoids Adrenal gland (cortex) Increases sodium and water reabsorption in kidney, increasing blood volume and blood pressure 

Promotes excretion of potassium and hydrogen ions from the kidney

Aldosterone release is controlled by renin-angiotensin system 

Mast cell mediators such as chymase and renin participate in the renin-angiotensin system, driving up blood pressure.


Excessive release of serotonin by mast cells can also increase aldosterone production.

Lalli E, et al. Local control of aldosterone production and primary aldosteronism. Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism 2016: 27 (3): 123-131. 

Kennedy S, et al. Mast cells and vascular diseases. Pharmacology & Therapeutics 2013: 138, 53-65.

Amylin Pancreas Suppresses hunger reflex 

Slows gastric emptying

Dysregulation of amylin contributes to lack of appetite and bloating in gastroparesis. 

Histamine binding at H1 receptor encourages release of amylin, causing appetite suppression.

Potes CS, Lutz TA. Brainstem mechanisms of amylin-induced anorexia. Physiology & Behavior 2010: 100, 511-518. 

Kedar A, et al. Dysregulation of hormones insulin and amylin is associated with the symptoms of bloating and anorexia in diabetic gastroparesis. AGA Abstracts, Mo1583.

Angiotensin Liver Release of aldosterone 



Increase of blood pressure

Angiotensin participates in the angiotensin-renin system, which regulates blood pressure.Many mast cell mediators, such as chymase, carboxypeptidase  A and renin, participate in this system. Kolck UW, et al. Cardiovascular symptoms in patients with systemic mast cell activation disease. Translation Research 2016: x, 1-10. 

Kennedy S, et al. Mast cells and vascular diseases. Pharmacology & Therapeutics 2013: 138, 53-65.

Atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) Heart Reduce systemic vascular resistance and water, sodium and fat in blood, decreasing blood pressure 

Decrease cardiac output





ANP directly activates mast cells, resulting in release of histamine, serotonin and TNF in a dose dependent fashion. 

ANP is associated with mast cell driven inflammation and swelling.

Chai, OK. The role of mast cells in atrial natriuretic peptide-induced cutaneous inflammation. Regulatory Peptides 2011: 167, 79-85.