Morphological Studies on Ovarian Mast Cells in the Cow


Abstract: This study was conducted on cows in the estrual and luteal phases of the cycle to determine the staining properties, light and electron microscopic appearance and numerical distribution of mast cells from various areas of the ovary. The material for the study comprised ovarian specimen taken from 14 cows, 7 in the luteal phase and 7 in the estrual phase of the sexual cycle. Specimens were taken from 3 different areas of the ovaries, including those surrounding the corpus luteum, the graafian follicle and the medulla. From all 3 areas, mast cells were demonstrated as metachromatic staining after treatment of paraffin-embedded sections with toluidine blue and as Ab(+)/SO(-) by the combined alcian blue/safranine O (Ab/SO) stain. In the electron microscopic studies, the mast cells were observed to have 2 types of granules, namely homogeneously dense granules and tiny particulate granules. All 3 regions of the ovary were observed to have higher average mast cell counts per mm^2 during the estrual phase than during the luteal phase (P < 0.001). In the estrual phase, while mast cell counts demonstrated a marked increase in the periphery of the graafian follicle, a low number of mast cells was determined in the periphery of the corpus luteum. In comparison, the medulla was demonstrated to have a much higher concentration of mast cells in the medulla than the other 2 regions of the ovarium.

Keywords: Mast cell, ovarium, sexual cycle, cow

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