Antigen-Induced Mucosal Damage and Restitution in the Small Intestine of the Immunized Rat
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Intestinal mucosal damage and restitution were examined following antigen-induced systemic anaphylaxis in Nippostrongylus brasiliensis immunized rats. The rats were injected intravenously with N. brasiliensis antigen or saline. At 60 min, morphological and biochemical parameters were determined in jejunum and ileum, and the epithelial permeability was assessed by measuring recovery of 51Cr-ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid in the blood after injecting it into a ligated segment. Antigen challenge resulted in significant abnormalities: (1) villus damage with sloughing of enterocytes; (2) decreased activities of brush border enzymes; (3) decreased levels of mucosal histamine and rat mast cell protease II (mast cell mediators), and (4) increased uptake of 51Cr-ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid. Progression of the injury was examined by taking consecutive biopsies at 15-min intervals for 60 min and then at 5 h. At 15 min, an abnormality was present in all sections which ranged from minor oedema and enterocyte detachment at villus tips to virtual complete destruction of the apical region. Restitution occurred by villus contraction with migration of the epithelium over the damaged regions. At 5 h, the epithelium had resealed, but the villi were significantly reduced in height.
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