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Fish Shellfish Immunol. 2007 Aug;23(2):300-4. Epub 2006 Nov 16.

The role of rodlet cells in the inflammatory response in Phoxinus phoxinus brains infected with Diplostomum.

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Department of Biology, University of Ferrara, Via Borsari, 46, 44100 Ferrara, Italy.


European minnows, Phoxinus phoxinus L., are commonly infected with Diplostomum phoxini Faust, 1918 metacercariae. A sub-sample of 34 minnows collected from the River Endrick, Stirlingshire, Scotland revealed that 50% of the population were infected (n = 17), with the cerebellum, medulla oblongata and the optic lobe regions of the minnow brain bearing the heaviest infections (13.7 +/- 2.6 mean +/- S.E.; 1-38 range). Serial histological sections through the brains of both uninfected and infected minnows revealed the presence of rodlet cells in the latter, which were occasionally observed in close proximity to the tegument of a metacercaria. Rodlet cells were the only type of host inflammatory cells found in this study and their role in the host's immune response to parasitic infection is commented upon.

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