Virchows Archiv

, Volume 444, Issue 1, pp 66–73 | Cite as

Ultrastructure of goblet-cell metaplasia from Clara cell in the allergic asthmatic airway inflammation in a mouse model of asthma in vivo

  • Toshiharu HayashiEmail author
  • Aiko Ishii
  • Satoru Nakai
  • Keiko Hasegawa
Original Article


Mucus overproduction from goblet cells, a characteristic feature of the allergic asthmatic inflammation induced by ovalbumin (OVA) in mice, was examined morphologically. In OVA-untreated (normal) mice, there were no goblet cells in intrapulmonary bronchus and bronchiole. However, goblet cells with or without hyperplasia in the mucosa of inflamed bronchus–bronchiole were recognized in the allergic asthmatic mice. The non-ciliated epithelium containing electron lucent granules (mucus) showed many similarities to Clara cells, which have characteristic secretory granules and many mitochondria, except for the less-developed smooth endoplasmic reticulum seen in normal mice. Ciliated Clara cells with or without mucus were rarely recognized. In addition, mucus was found in neither ciliated nor basal epithelium. The present study suggests that goblet-cell metaplasia in the bronchus and bronchiole of inflamed mucosa may be derived, at least in part, from Clara cells.


Goblet cell Clara cell Metaplasia Differentiation Mouse asthma 



This study was supported in part by a grant-in-aid of the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture of Japan (no. 15380210).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Toshiharu Hayashi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Aiko Ishii
    • 1
  • Satoru Nakai
    • 1
  • Keiko Hasegawa
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Veterinary Pathology, Faculty of AgricultureYamaguchi UniversityYamaguchi Japan

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