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Res Vet Sci. 2008 Feb;84(1):41-8. Epub 2007 May 22.

Distribution of mast cell subtypes and immune cell populations in canine intestines: evidence for age-related decline in T cells and macrophages and increase of IgA-positive plasma cells.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Veterinary Medicine, B├╝nteweg 17, D-30559 Hannover, Germany.


The distribution and numbers of leucocytes and mast cells (MC) in the canine gastrointestinal tract of three different age groups was investigated immunhistochemically. In all age groups, CD3+ T cells were more prominent in the villus region than in the crypt areas without differences between intestinal segments, whereas macrophages were more randomly distributed. Kresylecht-violet and tryptase-positive MC were prominent in pericrypt regions with statistic significances. Chymase-bearing mast cells, IgA-, IgG- and IgM-containing cells did not show significant differences in their distribution but, except for IgG-positive cells, subjective trends with increasing numbers towards the crypts exist. The reasons for the distribution of T cells, macrophages, immunoglobulin-containing cells and mast cells are not clear. Lamina propria CD3+ T cells and macrophages significantly decreased whilst a significant increase of IgA-containing plasma cells with increasing age was found. For mast cell subtypes, IgG- and IgM-containing cells no significant changes in numbers with increasing age exist.

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