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Exp Anim. 1997 Apr;46(2):127-33.

Histological characteristics of respiratory system in Brown Norway rat.

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Department of Biomedical Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tokyo, Japan.


It is well known that the Brown Norway (BN) rat strain exhibits airway hyperresponsiveness to exposure to allergens or some chemicals. We investigated the histological characteristics of the trachea and lungs of this strain (10-week-old and retired animals) and compared them with those of age-matched Fischer 344 (F344) rat strain. No histological differences between two strains in tracheal epithelial cells were detected, but differences in the distribution and development of submucosal glands were clarified by the observation of serial sections cut at intervals of 100 microns. Submucosal glands of BN strain were larger in the number and better-developed than those of F344 strain, especially in the middle and lower trachea. Similar results were also obtained in scanning electron microscopic observation of resin casts. There were no significant differences between two strains in the lectin histochemical characteristics of the cytoplasm of glandular epithelial cells. No age-related changes in these morphological characteristics in the two strains were observed. These results suggest that mucin from submucosal glands is quantitatively different but qualitatively similar in the two strains. In addition, microgranuloma mainly composed of histiocytes and eosinophils was observed in the lungs of the BN strain rats.

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