PMID: 6084538Dec 10, 1984Paper

Mast cells in rat thalamus: nuclear localization, sex difference and left-right asymmetry

Brain Research
R C GoldschmidtJ Padawer


Mast cells were positively identified in rat brain by a combination of staining and histochemical procedures. These cells stained positively with toluidine blue and Astrablau at low pH, indicating the presence of a proteoglycan similar to that found in peripheral mast cells. Brain mast cells also fluoresced after o-phthalaldehyde exposure, indicating that they contain histamine. Mast cells varied greatly in number among brains, but their distribution was almost exclusively thalamic; within thalamus, the ventral complex, medial dorsal, lateral, and paraventricular nuclei contained the most mast cells. Mast cell numbers were greater in brains of females than of males, and greater in left than in right hemispheres. These findings suggest that mast cells have a specialized function in thalamus and/or that the vascular environment of the thalamus is particularly conducive to mast cell accumulation.


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