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WAO Medical Book Review

Ultrastructure of Mast Cells and Basophils
Ann M Dvorak

List price: $135.50 USD
Available from: Karger

Ross Boadle
Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research and Westmead Millennium Institute, Westmead, NSW, Australia

This monograph reviews the work undertaken in the laboratories of the author and her collaborators between 1991 and 2001. It follows upon an earlier (1991) monograph and begins by reinforcing the ultrastructural definitions that allow differentiation of the (closely related) mast cell and basophil, in mouse, guinea pig and human.

The well ordered text explores the ultrastructural localization of cytokines, proteases, histamine, Charcot-Leyden crystal protein and other factors in the organelles of mast cells and basophils. The scope of this text then broadens to include the role of vesiculo-vacuolar organelles and their role in the trans endothelial secretory pathway.

While this book will prove to be of broad based interest to medical professionals, its most significant value should be to those researching the basic science of immunology and allergy and the interaction of mast cells in tissue based systems.

There is a balanced blend of both well established electron microscopy methodology (including immuno-gold labeling), together with enzyme affinity gold techniques and ultrastructural in situ hybridization. Techniques are adequately described and effectively referenced. The 185 illustrations are of consistently good quality.

For these specialized individuals, the book will find its way into personal libraries. This text should also reside on the shelves of the libraries of those institutions where basic ultrastructural cell research is undertaken.