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Open Access Increased mast cell density during the infection with velogenic Newcastle disease virus in chickens

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In addition to their well-characterized role in allergic inflammation, recent data confirm that mast cells play a more extensive role in a variety of viral infections. The contribution of mast cells to Newcastle disease pathogenesis has not been investigated. We evaluated mast cell activity after Newcastle disease virus (NDV) infection in specific pathogen free chickens using cytochemical and immunocytochemical analyses. The results were as follows. Severe tissue damage was observed in the proventriculus, duodenum, jejunum and caecal tonsil, and NDV antigens were detected and presented extensively in these tissues. Second, in the NDV-infected group, the mast cell population was increased markedly in the proventriculus, duodenum, jejunum and caecal tonsil at 24, 48, 72 and 96 h after infection (P<0.01). However, very few mast cells were observed in those same tissues in the control. More intriguingly, the greatest number of mast cells was found in the proventriculus, which also showed the greatest level of NDV antigens. Third, the content of tryptase was significantly higher (P<0.01) in the NDV-infected group compared with the control from 24 to 96 h post infection). Furthermore, as an important protease released by mast cells, tryptase had a positive correlation with mast cell distribution. These data indicated that mast cells were involved in the response to NDV. Our results also suggested that the broad range of mast cell mediators might have a role in the pathology of Newcastle disease.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Veterinary Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China

Publication date: December 1, 2008

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