American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A cell found in connective tissue that contains numerous basophilic granules and releases substances such as heparin and histamine in response to injury or inflammation of bodily tissues.
- n. A resident cell of connective tissue that contains many granules rich in histamine and heparin.
- n. a large connective tissue cell that contains histamine and heparin and serotonin which are released in allergic reactions or in response to injury or inflammation
- From German Mastzelle f., "feeding cell," coined in 1878 by immunologist Paul Ehrlich. (Wiktionary)
- Partial translation of German Mastzelle, well-fed cell (from an early view that the granules were from phagocytosis) : Mast, food, mast (from Middle High German, from Old High German) + Zelle, cell. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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