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Mast cell control: likely modus operandi of panhaematin in experimental pancreatitis
  1. Joan M Braganza
  1. Correspondence to Dr Joan M Braganza, c/o Mrs Jenny Parr, Department of Medicine, University of Manchester, 3rd floor Core Technology Facility, 46 Grafton Street, Manchester M13 9NT, UK; jenny.parr{at}

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In the May 2011 issue of Gut, Habtezion and colleagues report that panhaematin treatment ameliorates experimental acute pancreatitis (AP) by reducing neutrophil infiltration, and they propose that the drug may resolve the therapeutic impasse in clinical AP.1 I see the study results as further evidence of mast cell pathology. The limited number of citations permitted in ‘letters’ precludes a full bibliography, which can be provided on request.

Haem preparations induce haem oxygenase-1 (HO-1), which then degrades haem to generate bilirubin (via biliverdin) and carbon monoxide: the enzyme—which is transported in blood plasma from liver, spleen and other sites—and both end-products are antioxidants/anti-inflammatory agents. HO-1 is up-regulated by a …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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