Nerve growth factor immunoreactivity of mast cells in acute involuted human thymus

Inflammation. 2007 Apr;30(1-2):38-43. doi: 10.1007/s10753-006-9019-6. Epub 2006 Dec 14.


The acute involution of the thymus is induced by either exogenous or endogenous factors, including some infections (infection type involution). The present study was focused on both detection and immunocytochemical analysis of NGF immunopositive mast cells in child thymus with acute infection-induced involution. Autopsy thymus specimens from children with infection diseases (Sepsis, Encephalomyelitis, Varicella) were examined at light and electron microscopic level and compared to normal infantile thymuses. We observed a redistribution of NGF immunopositive mast cells in infection-affected child thymus, which lobular architecture was collapsed. A positive correlation between the degree of the involutive changes, increased distribution and enhanced NGF immunoreactivity of mast cells was defined. The possible involvement of NGF immunopositive mast cells in the process of acute thymus involution is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chickenpox / enzymology
  • Chickenpox / metabolism*
  • Chickenpox / pathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Encephalomyelitis / enzymology
  • Encephalomyelitis / metabolism*
  • Encephalomyelitis / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mast Cells / chemistry*
  • Mast Cells / enzymology
  • Mast Cells / ultrastructure
  • Microscopy, Immunoelectron
  • Nerve Growth Factor / analysis*
  • Receptor, trkA / analysis
  • Sepsis / enzymology
  • Sepsis / metabolism*
  • Sepsis / pathology
  • Thymus Gland / chemistry*
  • Thymus Gland / enzymology
  • Thymus Gland / ultrastructure
  • Tryptases / analysis


  • Nerve Growth Factor
  • Receptor, trkA
  • Tryptases