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Korean J Parasitol > Volume 33(4):1995 > Article

Original Article
Korean J Parasitol. 1995 Dec;33(4):313-321. English.
Published online Dec 20, 1995.  http://dx.doi.org/10.3347/kjp.1995.33.4.313
Copyright © 1995 by The Korean Society for Parasitology
Invasion of Metagonimus yokogawai into the submucosal layer of the small intestine of immunosuppressed mice
Jong-Yil Chai,*1Jin Kim,2 and Soon-Hyung Lee1
1Department of Parasitology and Institute of Endemic Diseases, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul 110-799, Korea.
2Department of Pathology, Chonnam National University Medical School, Kwangju 501-190, Korea.
Received October 20, 1995; Accepted November 15, 1995.


Metagonimus yokogawai was found deeply invaded into the submucosa of the small intestine of mice (ICR) when they were immunosuppressed by prednisolone injection. Experimental groups consisted of control, fluke infection (1,800 metacercariae per mouse), and fluke infection plus immunosuppression. In fluke infection group, many worms were found sectioned in the intervillous space of the jejunum and ileum at 6 hrs, 12 hrs, and 1 day after infection, and pathological changes characterized by villous atrophy and crypt hyperplasia were observed. After 3 days, only a few worms were found in intestinal sections, and after 7 days, the pathological changes became minimal. No worm was found penetrated beyond the mucosal layer. On the other hand, in immunosuppressed mice, numerous worms were found sectioned in the duodenum and jejunum, irrespective of the infection period up to 14 days. Pathological changes of the mucosa were minimal until 3 days after infection, but at 5 days marked destruction of the mucosal layer was observed. At this time many flukes were found invaded deeply into the submucosa facing the muscular layer. Despite continuous immunosuppression, the mucosal damage was gradually recovered at 7-21 days post-infection. The results showed that immunosuppression of ICR mice can induce, for a short period of time, severe mucosal damage, and allow deep invasion of M. yokogawai into the submucosa of the small intestine.


Figs. 1-4
Fig. 1. Jejunal villi of another immunocompetent mouse, 1-day post-infection. Two juvenile worms are seen between three or four villi, which show atrophy of the lining epithelial layer. Crypts show hyperplasia. H-E stain, ×45. Fig. 2. Jejunal villi of an immunocompetent mouse, 1-day post-infection. A juvenile worm is facing the crypt in a space between two willi and inflammatory cells are infiltrated in the stroma of villi. H-E stain, ×100. Fig. 3. Ileum of an immunosuppressed mouse, 1-day post-enfection. A juvenile worm is seen in the intervillous space not intruding into the crypt. H-E stain, ×45. Fig. 4. Duodenum of an immunosuppressed mouse, 3-day post-infection. Villi show their normal contour with few inflammatory reaction in the stroma. However, dilatation of the lymphatic space at the tip portion of the villi is recognizale. H-E stain, ×45.

Figs. 5-8
Fig. 5. Duodenum of immunosuppressed mouse, 5-day post-infection. The villi have lost their normal contour. Two worms are seen sectioned at the basal portions of villi and they are about to intrude into the crypt. H-E stain, ×45. Fig. 6. Duodenum of immunosuppressed mouse, 5-day post-infection. Villi and crypts, i.e., mucosa, are completely destroyed, which allowed deep penetration of worms (arrows). H-E stain, ×100. Fig. 7. Duodenum of anther immunosuppressed mouse, 5-day post-infection. An adolescent fluke is actively penertrating into the basal portion of the crypt and pressing the muscle layer (arows). H-E stain, ×45. Fig. 8. Other portion of the duodenum of an immunosuppressed mouse, 5-day post-infection. An adolescent worm is facing the muscle layer of the intestinal wall, where the mucosa and submucosa have been completely destroyed. The oral sucker (OS) and pharynx (P) of the worm are visible. H-E stain, ×100.


Table 1
Experimental design for observation of intestinal histopathology due to M. yokogawai infection in immunocompetent and immumosuppressed ICR mice

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