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J Comp Pathol. 2000 Feb-Apr;122(2-3):155-62.

Enzyme-histochemical detection of a chymase-like proteinase within bovine mucosal and connective tissue mast cells.

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Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liège, Sart-Tilman B-43, Liège, B-4000, Belgium.


The presence of chymase-like proteinase in bovine mast cells was investigated by an enzyme-histochemical technique (naphthol-AS-D-chloroacetate as substrate) in normal skin, primary bronchus, lung and duodenum. The counts and distribution of chymase-positive and toluidine blue-positive mast cells were compared by means of successive staining. Mast cells with chymase-like activity were detected in all areas, but their proportion was greater in connective than mucosal tissues, with the exception of the skin. These results contrast with those obtained in rodents, in which chymase-like proteinases are detected in all tissues and also in all mast cells. Bovine mast cells are closer to those of human beings, in which chymase-containing mast cells predominate in connective tissues, including skin. The results suggest that more than one chymase subset is present, at least in duodenum. The possible occurrence of dual-specific chymase mast cells, as in other ruminants, is discussed.

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