, Volume 77, Issue 2, pp 145–158 | Cite as

Amines of the mucosal mast cell of the gut in normal and nematode infected rats

  • U. Wingren
  • L. Enerbäck
  • H. Ahlman
  • S. Allenmark
  • A. Dahlström


Infection with the nematode N. brasiliensis is accompanied by a marked increase of the number of mucosal mast cells (MMC) and the mucosal content of histamine and 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT). We compared amine levels, determined by ion exchange and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with numbers of MMC and enterochromaffin cells (ECC). Furthermore, we measured 5-HT cytofluorometrically in individual MMC and ECC. The cellular distribution of 5-HT was studied immunohistochemically. Our results corroborate previous findings that histamine is stored in MMC. Quotients between histamine content and numbers of MMC decreased throughout the period of worm expulsion, followed by a recovery, suggesting a histamine release during this defense reaction. The HPLC analysis gave no evidence for a storage of dopamine in MMC. ECC and MMC of normal and infected rats showed a formaldehyde induced fluorescence and 5-HT immunoreactivity. The formaldehyde induced fluorescence of MMC from normal rats was about 10% that of ECC, but MMC exceeded ECC three times by numbers. These findings suggest that a considerable proportion of the intestinal 5-HT in the normal rat is stored in MMC. ECC numbers did not change during the infection and their content of 5-HT was unchanged, as judged by cytofluorometry. The cytofluorometric measurements showed that the intensity of the monoamine fluorescence from the MMC of infected animals was about three times as high as that of controls. It was concluded that the increased tissue levels of 5-HT was due to both an increase in MMC numbers and an increase in the 5-HT content of individual MMC. The results suggest a different role for histamine and 5-HT in the defense reaction towards the nematode infection.


Dopamine High Performance Liquid Chromatography Histamine Monoamine Histamine Release 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • U. Wingren
    • 1
  • L. Enerbäck
    • 1
  • H. Ahlman
    • 2
  • S. Allenmark
    • 3
  • A. Dahlström
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Pathology IIUniversity of GöteborgSweden
  2. 2.Institute of NeurobiologyUniversity of GöteborgSweden
  3. 3.Clinical Research CentreUniversity of LinköpingSweden

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