We used light and electron microscopy to analyze the eyelid inflammation that develops in transgenic mice that overexpress interleukin-4 (IL-4; Tepper et al, Cell 62:457, 1990). Analysis of alkaline Giemsa-stained plastic sections examined by light microscopy (Dvorak et al, J Exp Med 132:558, 1970), as well as by routine transmission electron microscopy, indicated that the mast cells in the inflammatory eyelid lesions were undergoing piecemeal degranulation, a form of secretion in which the cells' cytoplasmic granules exhibit characteristic morphologic changes that are thought to be associated with the prolonged, vesicle-mediated release of the granules' constituents. Moreover, by using a newly reported enzyme affinity-gold method, which stains histamine based on binding to diamine oxidase-gold (Dvorak et al, J Histochem Cytochem 41:787, 1993), we show that these activated mast cells had released much of their histamine content. The eyelid lesions also exhibited increased numbers of mast cells; interstitial fibrosis, particularly around cutaneous nerves and blood vessels; activated fibroblasts; focal axonal damage; venules with endothelial cells containing numerous vesiculo-vacuolar organelles; and infiltrates of neutrophils and eosinophils. Our findings illustrate that overexpression of the IL-4 gene in vivo can result in eyelid lesions associated with piecemeal degranulation of mast cells, as well as tissue fibrosis and a variety of other pathologic changes. These results also represent the first direct morphologic evidence for histamine secretion by mast cells in vivo.
Piecemeal degranulation of mast cells in the inflammatory eyelid lesions of interleukin-4 transgenic mice. Evidence of mast cell histamine release in vivo by diamine oxidase-gold enzyme-affinity ultrastructural cytochemistry
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AM Dvorak, RI Tepper, PF Weller, ES Morgan, P Estrella, RA Monahan-Earley, SJ Galli; Piecemeal degranulation of mast cells in the inflammatory eyelid lesions of interleukin-4 transgenic mice. Evidence of mast cell histamine release in vivo by diamine oxidase-gold enzyme-affinity ultrastructural cytochemistry. Blood 1994; 83 (12): 3600–3612. doi: https://doi.org/10.1182/blood.V83.12.3600.bloodjournal83123600
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