Table 2

Effects of stress on mast cell numbers and activation

+/+ sham +/+ stress Ws/Ws sham Ws/Ws stress
Mast cell numbers (cells/mm2)81.2  (18.5)445  (39)2-150 0 (0)0 (0)
Mast cell activation (% granules with signs of activation)6.0 (2.1)31.8 (5.5)2-150 NANA
  • Mast cells were evaluated for signs of activation by electron microscopy and image analysis. Patterns of mast cell activation/degranulation were assessed as: (a) piecemeal degranulation, defined as loss of granule density without granule-cell membrane fusion and (b) anaphylactic degranulation, defined as solubilisation of granular contents with fusion of intergranular and granule-cell membranes. Fifteen sections containing mast cells from each tissue (four rats per group) were randomly selected, the number of intracytoplasmatic granules counted and each granule analysed for loss of density and perigranular vacuolisation.

  • Data are shown as mean (SEM).

  • 2-150 p<0.05 compared with sham stressed rats.

  • NA, not available.