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Respiration. 2000;67(5):565-9.

Goblet cell hyperplasia in the airway of Nippostrongylus brasiliensis-infected rats.

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Department of Parasitology, Miyazaki Medical College, Kiyotake, Miyazaki, Japan.



In rats, the intestinal parasite Nippostrongylus brasiliensis is recognized as a strong inducer of intestinal goblet cell hyperplasia. Although this parasite migrates through the airways during the course of its infection, airway goblet cell response remains unknown.


This study was designed to examine airway goblet cell response during the course of N. brasiliensis infection in rats and to characterize these goblet cells.


Airway goblet cells were stained with Alcian blue and periodic acid-Schiff. To characterize the goblet cells, mebendazole treatment, lectin histochemistry, and RNA blot analysis using probes for rat MUC2 and trefoil peptides were examined.


Airway and small intestinal goblet cell hyperplasia were observed at days 14 and 21 after infection but not at day 7. In rats treated with mebendazole, goblet cell hyperplasia was not present in the small intestine, but was observed in the lung on day 14. These results indicate that airway goblet cell hyperplasia may be induced by local pulmonary factors. By lectin histochemistry, the stainability of airway goblet cells at day 21 was similar to that of small intestine goblet cells even though rat MUC2 and trefoil peptide mRNA were not detected in the lung.


Airway goblet cell hyperplasia observed at days 14 and 21 after N. brasiliensis infection may be induced by local factors. Airway goblet cells have characteristics that differ from those of the small intestine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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