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Mast Cells in the Salivary Glands and Tongue of the Ferret: Demonstration and Some Histochemical Observations

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Previous investigations failed to demonstrate mast cells in the alimentary tract and extraparietal glands of the ferret. It was decided therefore to test this and assess factors that may be of influence. Major salivary glands and tongues of mature ferrets, which had been fixed in formalin‐calcium, were examined by means of light microscopical histochemistry. Staining of paraffin sections with techniques depending on basic dyes or esterolytic activity was carried out for conventional times with and without previous oxidation, hot acid hydrolysis, and trypsin and β‐glucuronidase digestion. Aldehyde fuchsin and high iron diamine consistently revealed the presence of few mast cells in interstitial stroma of salivary glands and lingual musculature, and in the lamina propria of lingual mucosa. Alcian blue at 0.5 m MgCl2 and safranin produced less consistent results, and even fewer metachromatic mast cells were detected. No staining of mast cells was obtained with the technique for napthol AS‐D chloroacetate esterase. Pretreatment did not increase the numbers and/or staining reactions of mast cells. The results refute the previous misconception and suggest that ferret is a species with a low incidence of mast cells largely expressing a connective‐tissue phenotype.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Address of authors: Oral Pathology, Department and School of Dental Sciences, The University of Liverpool, Pembroke Place, Liverpool L3 5PS, UK; 151 706 5243; 151 706 5845;, Tel: +44, Fax: +44

Publication date: 01 February 2007

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