Mast cells in ulcerative colitis - Quantitative and ultrastructural studies

Martha Balázs, György Illyés, Gizella Vadász

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42 Citations (Scopus)


The changes in the number and ultrastruture of mast cells were studied in 37 colonoscopical biopsies from patients with ulcerative colitis. Changes in the active stage of the disease and during remission were compared. Cell counts were performed on semithin sections stained with Giemsa after osmium tetroxide fixation. This method overcome the uncertain staining found after formalin fixation. Accumulation of mast cells accompanied by intense degranulation was found to be significant in the active stage of the disease. Two forms of degranulation were observed: discharge of the individual granules and protrusion and detachment of the cytoplasmic processes containing granules. The latter was a sign of rapid degranulation, as described earlier in animal experiments. Mast cells were closely associated with capillary blood vessels, Schwann cells, neural fibres, myofibroblasts and collagenous fibres, and were also present between epithelial cells. It is assumed that close topographic contact may also imply a functional correlation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-360
Number of pages8
JournalVirchows Archiv B Cell Pathology Including Molecular Pathology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1989


  • Mast cell
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Ultrastructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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