The Histochemical Journal

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 457–471 | Cite as

Ileal Paneth cells and IgA system in rats with severe zinc deficiency: An immunohistochemical and morphological study

  • I. Dodd Wilson
  • Craig J. McClain
  • Stanley L. Erlandsen


Morphological abnormalities in Paneth cells occur in patients with acrodermatitis enteropathica, a chereditary disease associated with zinc deficiency; furthermore, rat Paneth cells contain large amounts of zinc. This study was conducted to assess the effect of severe zinc deficiency in Sprague-Dawley rats on various parameters of Paneth cells. Morphology at both the light microscopical and ultrastructural levels, Paneth cell numbers per crypt and the intracellular distribution of lysozyme were not altered by zinc deficiency. A weak correlation (r=+0.38,P=0.05) was noted between ileal zinc concentration and numbers of IgA-containing Paneth cells per crypt. These findings indicate that the morphological abnormalities noted in human Paneth cells in patients with acrodermatitis enteropathica cannot be reproduced by experimental severe zinc deficiency in rats. Furthermore, these generally negative findings suggest that the severe diarrhoea often associated with zinc deficiency is not attributable to abnormalities induced in Paneth cells by zinc deficiency.


Zinc Lysozyme Ileal Weak Correlation Zinc Concentration 
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Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall Ltd 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. Dodd Wilson
    • 1
  • Craig J. McClain
    • 1
  • Stanley L. Erlandsen
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine and Department of AnatomyUniversity of Minnesota Medical SchoolMinneapolisUSA

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