Background: Mast cells (MC) have recently been implicated in the processes of tissue homeostasis, remodeling and repair. Design: In this study, the total and tryptase-reactive mast cell populations were quantified in the duodenal mucosa of 27 subjects suffering from chronic inflammatory bowel disorders. Mast cell density was both related to the general villous architecture (normal or defective) and to the microvascular density in the duodenal mucosa. Results: Total mast cell and tryptase-positive mast cell subpopulation densities were found to be significantly reduced in the samples with defective villous architecture in comparison with those exhibiting a normal villous profile. In these last samples, a relevant proportion of mucosal mast cells exhibited ultrastructural features of secretory activity, in particular piecemeal degranulation. Finally, no correlation was established between microvascular density and tryptase activity, as it has been previously demonstrated in other pathological conditions. Conclusions: Overall, these findings indicate a significant correlation between mast cell density and the duodenal mucosal architecture.
- Electron microscopy
- Intestinal villous architecture
- Mast cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas