Cell and Tissue Biology

, Volume 4, Issue 5, pp 490–499 | Cite as

Resident and circulating mast cells in propulsative organs of frog Rana temporaria

  • M. I. Krylova


A histochemical and ultrastructural examination of mast cells (MCs) in “blood” and lymph hearts of the adult frog Rana temporaria showed that they are represented by two populations, i.e., resident and circulating MCs. Resident cardiac MCs have an oval or elongated shape and are located in the atrial and ventricular myocardium, as well as in connective tissue of the epicardium. Circulating MCs were identified in heart lumen lacunas and in narrow clefts produced by ventricular trabecular myocardium, as well as in blood-filled atrial and ventricular central cavities. The small round shape circulating MCs resemble lymphocytes, but their cytoplasm is filled with granules that are ultrastucturally similar to granules of cardiac resident MCs. In the lymph heart, elongated resident MCs are located in the interstitial space between the cross-striated muscle fibers and smooth muscle cells of afferent and efferent heart valves. Round circulating MCs are occasionally visible in the cavity of the lymph heart. More commonly, circulating MCs are found in the lymphatic sinus cavity located adjacent to lymph hearts. In certain parts of the lymphatic sinus walls, MCs form clusters that are in tight contact with the mesothelial cells that line the lymphatic cavity. Our histochemical investigation revealed that both resident and circulating MCs of the propulsative organs are strongly alcian blue positive, but are weakly red after safranin staining and weakly metachromatic with toluidine blue. The presence of populations of circulating MCs in adult frogs suggests that there are differences in MC biology in lower and higher vertebrates.

Key words

mast cell blood heart lymph heart histochemistry electron microscopy frog Rana temporaria 

Abbreviations used


mast cell


rough endoplasmic reticulum


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of CytologyRussian Academy of SciencesSt. PetersburgRussia

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