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Hymenolepis diminuta:Mucosal Mastocytosis and Intestinal Smooth Muscle Hypertrophy Occur in Tapeworm-Infected Rats

Experimental Parasitology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1006/expr.1998.4271


Abstract Dwinell, M. B., Wise, R. M., Bass, P., and Oaks, J. A. 1998. Hymenolepis diminuta:Mucosal mastocytosis and intestinal smooth muscle hypertrophy occur in tapeworm-infected rats. Experimental Parasitology 89,92–102. The mechanisms mediating motility changes during noninvasive tapeworm infection have not been characterized. In contrast, host intestinal motility changes during invasive nematode infection are mediated by mucosal mast cells (MMC). The purpose of this study was to examine and the correlate onset of myoelectric alterations 8 days after initial tapeworm infection with changes in intestinal morphology, MMC numbers, and MMC secretory activity. Segments of the small intestine, the tapeworms normal habitat, along with stomach, colon, and bladder were taken from tapeworm-infected and control rats. Tissues were fixed and stained to identify MMC and for morphologic measurement. Tapeworm-infected and uninfected rats with chronically implanted intestinal electrodes were treated with ketotifen, a mast cell stabilizer, and in vivomyoelectric activity monitored. In tapeworm-infected rats, the muscularis externa, on day 20 postinfection, and crypts of Lieberkuhn, on day 26 postinfection, from the entire small intestine appeared thickened or deeper, respectively. Increased muscularis thickness was due to smooth muscle hypertrophy in both the circular and the longitudinal muscle layers. Mucosal mastocytosis was first observed on day 26 postinfection and occurred only in the ileum of tapeworm-infected rats. Pharmacologic stabilization of mast cells with ketotifen did not prevent onset of enteric myoelectric alterations during tapeworm infection. Stomach, colon, and bladder MMC numbers and tissue dimensions were not different between Hymenolepis diminuta-infected rats and uninfected controls. Initiation of myoelectric alterations 8 days after infection precedes and may be a contributing factor to the onset of both smooth muscle hypertrophy and mucosal mastocytosis. Taken together, our data indicate that mast cells are not an initiating factor nor chronic stimulus maintaining intestinal myoelectric alterations during H. diminutainfection.

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