Inflammatory response toDentitruncus truttae(Acanthocephala) in the intestine of brown trout

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Abstract

Brown trout, Salmo trutta L., were infected with the acanthocephalan Dentitruncus truttae with the most affected areas being the anterior (near the pyloric caeca) and middle intestine. The parasite attached with a proboscis which usually penetrated the mucosa, lamina propria, stratum compactum, stratum granulosum and, sometimes, the muscularis layer. Around the parasite's body was an area of inflammatory tissue. At the point of attachment the lamina propria was thickened and the stratum compactum, stratum granulosum and muscularis layer were disrupted by proboscis penetration. Rodlet cells were more numerous in infected fish (P < 0.01), and were found in the epithelial layer away from the worm. Infected intestines had larger numbers of mast cells (P < 0.01), often in close proximity to, and inside, the blood capillaries and associated with fibroblasts of the muscularis layer and the stratum granulosum. Their migration toward the site of infection was suggested. Intense degranulation of mast cells was encountered in all intestinal layers especially near the parasite's body. Immunohistochemical tests were conducted on sections of intestinal tissue of uninfected and infected fish revealing the presence of met-enkephalin and serotonin (5-HT) in immuno-related cells of the intestine wall. Infected trout had larger numbers of elements positive to met-enkephalin and serotonin antisera. These data provided evidence for the role of the immune system of brown trout in the modulation of the inflammatory response to D. truttae. Results are discussed with respect to host immune response to an intestinal helminth.

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