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Tryptase is an enzyme that is released, along with histamine and other chemicals, from mast cells when they are activated as part of a normal immune response as well as in allergic (hypersensitivity) responses. Serum tryptase is one of tests used to aid in the diagnosis of mast cell activation syndrome,[1] anaphylaxis and mastocystosis.

Tryptase released by mast cells may be involved in cartilage degradation in osteoarthritis.[2]

Tryptase activates metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1).[3] A mouse model of viral myocarditis found elevated tryptase and MMPs.[4] Other infections, including Q fever,[5] have been associated with elevated tryptase levels.

A genetics study found increased copy numbers of the TPSAB1 gene, which encodes alpha tryptase, in a group of families with dysautonomia/POTS, Ehlers-Danlos Sydnrome and mast cell activation syndrome.[6]

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  1. Akin, Cem (2010). "Mast Cell Activation Syndrome: Proposed Diagnostic Criteria". J Allergy and Clinical Immuno.
  2. Wang, Qian; Lepus, Christin M; Raghu, Harini; Reber, Laurent L; Tsai, Mindy M; Wong, Heidi H; von Kaeppler, Ericka; Lingampalli, Nithya; Bloom, Michelle S (May 14, 2019). Kurosaki, Tomohiro; Taniguchi, Tadatsugu (eds.). "IgE-mediated mast cell activation promotes inflammation and cartilage destruction in osteoarthritis". eLife. 8: e39905. doi:10.7554/eLife.39905. ISSN 2050-084X.
  3. Naveed, Shamsa; Jackson, David J.; Clements, Debbie; Reynolds, Catherine; Shaw, Dominick; Johnston, Sebastian L.; Johnson, Simon R. (May 1, 2016). "Mast Cell Tryptase Activates Matrix Metalloproteinase-1 Causing Matrix Remodelling, Airway Smooth Muscle Growth and Airway Obstruction During Asthma Exacerbations". American Thoracic Society International Conference Abstracts. American Thoracic Society. pp. A6174–A6174. doi:10.1164/ajrccm-conference.2016.193.1_meetingabstracts.a6174.
  4. Matsumori, Akira; Sasayama, Shigetake; Kinoshita, Makoto; Nakano, Atsushi; Ono, Koh; Yamaki, Akira; Yamamoto, Kanjo; Higuchi, Kazuhiro; Hara, Masatake (2003). "Gene Expression of Cardiac Mast Cell Chymase and Tryptase in a Murine Model of Heart Failure Caused by Viral Myocarditis". Circulation Journal. 67 (10): 881–884. doi:10.1253/circj.67.881. ISSN 1346-9843.
  5. Mezouar, Soraya; Morel, Victor; Leveille, Laury; Resseguier, Noémie; Chartier, Céline; Raoult, Didier; Mege, Jean-Louis; Vitte, Joana (June 1, 2019). "Progenitor mast cells and tryptase in Q fever". Comparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. 64: 159–162. doi:10.1016/j.cimid.2019.03.011. ISSN 0147-9571.
  6. Milner, Joshua D.; Schwartz, Lawrence B.; Biesecker, Leslie G.; Metcalfe, Dean D.; Heller, Theo; Caughey, George H.; Stone, Kelly D.; Hohman, Robert J.; Rothenberg, Marc E. (December 2016). "Elevated basal serum tryptase identifies a multisystem disorder associated with increased TPSAB1 copy number". Nature Genetics. 48 (12): 1564–1569. doi:10.1038/ng.3696. ISSN 1546-1718.