Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - A Molecular and Integrative Physiology, vol.120, no.2, pp.255-262, 1998 (SCI-Expanded)
Using histochemical techniques, we determined mast cell content in ovarian, uterine and brain tissues throughout the estrus cycle of the rat. In one series of experiments, 26 cycling female rats were used for the measurement of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) in plasma and evaluation of mast cells in the tissues. In a second series, cycling female rats were used for the determination of tissue histamine. The number, degranulation pattern and staining characteristics of mast cells changed synchronously in rat ovarian, uterine and brain tissues during the estrus cycle. A great majority of mast cells in tissues were stained by Alcian blue at proestrus and metestrus. Safranin-stained mast cells were abundant in all tissues during estrus and diestrus. Alcian blue-stained mast cells contribute to the change of tissues histamine level. In ovarian tissue, histamine level increased significantly at proestrus and metestrus. The lowest ovarian histamine level was determined at estrus, in which virtually all mast cells were stained by safranin only. Mast cells in ovarian, uterine and brain tissues seem to change their histamine content throughout the estrus cycle. Mast cells are absent from the thalamus during proestrus and are present in the hypothalamus only during the estrus phase. Plasma FSH concentrations (mlU ml-1) did not significantly change throughout the estrus cycle (proestrus: 0.81 ± 0.11, estrus: 0.69 ± 0.07, metestrus: 0.82 ± 0.13, diestrus: 0.67 ± 0.19).