Differential mucins secretion by intestinal mucous cells of Chelon ramada in response to an enteric helminth Neoechinorhynchus agilis (Acanthocephala)
Bosi, G.; DePasquale, J.A.; Rossetti, E.; Dezfuli, B.S.
Acta Histochemica 122(2): 151488
ISSN/ISBN: 1618-0372 PMID: 31862187 DOI: 10.1016/j.acthis.2019.151488
Intestinal mucous cells produce and secrete mucins which hydrate, lubricate and protect the intestinal epithelium from mechanical injuries due to the transition of digesta or action of pathogens. Intestinal mucous cells are considered elements of the innate immune system as they secrete lectins, toxins, immunoglobulins, and anti-microbial peptides. Acid mucins can surround and eliminate many pathogenic microorganisms. We performed a quantitative analysis of the density and mucus composition of different intestinal mucous cell types from mullet (Chelon ramada) that were infected solely with Neoechinorhynchus agilis. Most N. agilis were encountered in the middle region of the intestine. Mucous cell types were identified with Alcian Blue (pH2.5) and Periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) histochemistry, and by staining with a panel of seven lectins. Mucus enriched for high viscosity acid mucins was accumulated near points of worm attachment. Parasites were surrounded by an adherent mucus layer or blanket. Ultrastructural examination showed intestinal mucous cells typically possessed an elongated, basally positioned nucleus and numerous electron dense and lucent vesicles in the cytoplasm. The results show both an increase in mucus production and changes in mucin composition in infected mullet in comparison with uninfected conspecifics.