The Histological and Histochemical Properties of the Mast Cells and the Mast Cell Heterogeneity in the Cow Uterus


Abstract: The aim of this study was to identify the mast cell heterogeneity of the cow uterus. For this purpose, the histological and histochemical properties and the distribution of the mast cells in cow uterus were investigated. Furthermore, the effects of different fixatives on mast cells were also examined. The study material was obtained from a local slaughterhouse. A total of 20 Holstein cows uteri were used; ten of which were at estrus and the other ten at diestrus phases of sexual cycle. Tissue samples from each cornu uteri were placed in 10 % neutral buffered formalin (NBF) and isotonic formaldehyde - acetic acid (IFAA) fixatives. To determine the mast cells, the tissue sections were stained both with toluidin blue and alcian blue/safranin O methods. In generaly, there were significantly more mast cells in endometrium, myometrium and perimetrium when fixed with isotonic formaldehyde-acetic acid compared with those seen in the same tissues fixed with neutral buffered formalin (p< 0.001). In the IFAA fixed tissue, there were more mast cells in endometrium compared with myometrium at the diestrus phases (P<0.05). However, in the NBF-fixed tissues, there were more mast cells in the estrus phases compared with diestrus phases in myometrium (P< 0.05). The mast cells in cow uterus were found to be safranin O-negative. Electron microscopic investigations showed that mast cells contained different types of granules.

Keywords: Mast cells, heterogeneity, cow uterus

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