Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria
On-line version ISSN 1678-4227
ANTUNES, Sérgio Luiz Gomes et al. Mast cell subsets and neuropeptides in leprosy reactions. Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. [online]. 2003, vol.61, n.2A, pp. 208-219. ISSN 1678-4227. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0004-282X2003000200010.
The immunohistochemical identification of neuropeptides (calcitonin gene-related peptide, vasoactive intestinal polypeptide, substance P, a-melanocyte stimulating hormone and g-melanocyte stimulating hormone) quantification of mast cells and their subsets (tryptase/chymase-immunoreactive mast cells = TCMC and tryptase-immunoreactive mast cells = TMC) were determined in biopsies of six patients with leprosy reactions (three patients with type I reaction and three with type II). Biopsies were compared with those taken from the same body site in the remission stage of the same patient. We found a relative increase of TMC in the inflammatory infiltrate of the reactional biopsies compared to the post-reactional biopsy. Also, the total number of mast cells and the TMC/TCMC ratio in the inflammatory infiltrate was significantly higher than in the intervening dermis of the biopsies of both periods. No significant difference was found regarding neuroptide expression in the reactional and post-reactional biopsies. The relative increase of TMC in the reactional infiltrates could implicate this mast cell subset in the reported increase of the immune response in leprosy reactions.
Keywords : leprosy; neuropeptides; mast cells; tryptase; chymase.