Mucosal mast cell proliferation following normal and heterotopic infections of the nematode Nippostrongylus brasiliensis in rats

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APMIS. 1994 Aug;102(8):589-96.

Arizono N, Yamada M, Tegoshi T, Okada M, Uchikawa R, Matsuda S.

Department of Medical Zoology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Japan.


Infections of intestinal nematodes induce the T cell-dependent proliferation of intestinal mucosal mast cells (MMC). To examine whether nematode-induced MMC proliferation is affected by the site of infestation, adult-stage nematode Nippostrongylus brasiliensis (NB) was transplanted into the normal infection site, the duodenum, or into heterotopic sites, the peritoneal cavity (i.p.) or subcutaneous tissue (s.c.), of rats. Two weeks after duodenal inoculation, MMC numbers in the small intestine had increased 6.5-fold. In contrast, i.p. and s.c. inoculation induced only slight increases of intestinal MMC. After i.p. inoculation, worm granulomas developed in the connective tissues adhering to stomach and duodenum, and large numbers of mast cells appeared around the granulomas. The majority of the latter mast cells showed histochemical features similar to MMC: they were formalin sensitive, berberine sulfate-, alcian blue+/safranine-, and rat mast cell protease (RMCP) II+. After s.c. inoculation, worm granulomas developed at the inoculation site, but the number of mast cells around the granulomas was not significantly increased. These results suggest that intense proliferation of MMC or MMC-like cells is induced only by the infections on mucosa or in mucosa-associated tissues.