Published online by Cambridge University Press: 25 January 2013
Mucosal mast cells (MMC) play a crucial role in the expulsion of Strongyloides ratti adults from the small intestine of mice. We reported the large intestinal parasitism of S. ratti in rats, and there has been no report on MMC in the large intestine of the natural host. We studied kinetics of MMC, together with eosinophils, in the upper and lower small intestines, caecum and colon of infected rats. Two distinct phases of mastocytosis were revealed: one in the upper small intestine triggered by stimulation of ‘ordinary’ adults, and the other in the colon stimulated by ‘immune-resistant’ adults that started parasitizing the colon around 19 days post-infection. In all 4 intestinal sites, the MMC peaks were observed 5–7 days after the number of adult worms became the maximum and the height of MMC peaks appeared to be dependent on the number of parasitic adults, suggesting an important role played by worms themselves in the MMC buildup.