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Folia Biol (Krakow). 2004;52(1-2):13-7.

Effects of Thaumetopoea pityocampa (Lepidoptera: Thaumetopoeidae) larvae on the degranulation of dermal mast cells in mice; an electron microscopic study.

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Gazi University, Faculty of Arts and Science, Department of Biology, Ankara, Turkey.


The pine caterpillar Thaumetopoea pityocampa (Lepidoptera: Thaumetopoeidae) is found in pine woods. Hairs of the T. pityocampa caterpillar cause a cutaneous reaction in humans and animals. Mast cells are responsible for allergic reactions in mammals. In this study male swiss albino mice were divided into two groups: 5 mice in the control group and 25 mice in the experimental group. The dorsal skin of mice was shaved. The mice in the experimental group and T. pityocampa larvae (fifth instar, approximately n=100) were put in the same cage. Dermal mast cells of mice exposed to T. pityocampa were examined with a transmission electron microscope and compared to the control group 1, 3, 6, 12 and 24 hours after exposure. Dermal mast cell degranulation in mice was observed 12 and 24 hours after exposure.

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