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Korean J Parasitol > Volume 35(4):1997 > Article

Original Article
Korean J Parasitol. 1997 Dec;35(4):259-264. English.
Published online Dec 20, 1997.  http://dx.doi.org/10.3347/kjp.1997.35.4.259
Copyright © 1997 by The Korean Society for Parasitology
Dermal mast cell responses in Paragonimus westermani-infected mice
M H Shin*
Department of Parasitology, College of Medicine, Ewha Womans University, Seoul 158-056, Korea.

*Corresponding author (Email: mhshin@mm.ewha.ac.kr)
Received October 04, 1997; Accepted November 20, 1997.


This study was carried out to determine whether dermal mast cell responses to Paragonimus westermani in an abnormal host, the mouse, were dependent on the site of metacercarial inoculation. In mice during subcutaneous infection, the number of dermal mast cells were increased significantly (p < 0.05) at the first week (38.3/mm2) and then persisted at a high level until the sixth week (45.2/mm2) of infection compared with PBS-injected (control) mice (range: 19.4-25.1/mm2). In mice during oral infection, the number of dermal mast cells were increased significantly (p < 0.05) at two weeks (33.5/mm2) after infection and remained at these levels thereafter compared with non-infected (control) mice (range: 17.4-22.3/mm2). In mice both during subcutaneous and oral infection, the recruited dermal mast cells showed extensive degranulation at the second week (68.4% and 60.7%, respectively), reached a peak at the third week (81.4%, and 92.1%, respectively) and then declined slightly thereafter. By contrast, in both control mice, about 10% of dermal mast cells were degranulated. In conclusion, this study suggests that dermal mast cell responses to P. westermani in mice are dependent on cutaneous sensitization by larval excretory-secretory antigens, irrespective of infection route.


Figs. 1-4
Mast cells at the skin in mice during subcutaneous infection with P. westermani compared with PBS-injected (control) mice. Blue spots (arrows) in the dermis and subcutaneous layer are the mast cells. 1. PBS-injected (control) mice, showing only small number of dermal mast cells, ×100. 2. In mice during subcutaneous infection, week 1 PI, showing a significant increase in the number of mast cells of dermis and subcutaneous layer, ×100. 3. In mice during subcutaneous infection, week 2 PI, many mast cells are distributed adjacent to a cyst of worm, ×100. 4. In mice during subcutaneous infection, week 3 PI, degranulated mast cells with open-faced nuclei ard shown around a cyst of worm in subcutaneous layer, ×200. Toluidine blue staining, pH 0.5.

Figs. 5-6
In mice during subcutaneous (5) and oral infection (6) with P. westermani, respectively, week 3 PI, many mast cells are degranulated, ×100. A rectangle indicates higher magnification (×200) of fully extensive degranulated mast cells. The nucleus of mast cell is heavily stained and numerous cytoplamic granules are extruded from the cell. Toluidine blue staining, pH 0.5.


Table 1
Dermal mast cell number and extent of mast cell degranulation during P. westermani infection in BALB/c mice

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