Mast cell population density, blood vessel density and histamine content in normal human skin

Br J Dermatol. 1979 Jun;100(6):623-33. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.1979.tb08065.x.


Mast cell population density was determined in normal skin from two regions of the arm of several healthy men and compared with blood vessel density and histamine concentration in the same sites. Mast cell and blood vessel counts were made in 1--1.5 micrometer thick plastic sections, by light microscopy and tissue-histamine concentrations were determined by automated fluorimetric analysis. Statistically significant correlations were found between mast cell counts, blood vessel counts and histamine content in skin from the upper arm but no similar correlations were obtained in the forearm. Anatomical differences between the two sites may have been the cause of this discrepancy. Wide variations in mast cell counts and blood vessel density were found in different sections from the same biopsy samples which confirms the notion that dermal mast cells are unevenly distributed. Analysis of variance of the mast cell counts showed that the variance between sections from different blocks from the same biopsy samples was greater than the variance between adjacent biopsies. There was also a marked variation in the histamine content between biopsy samples from sites only 2 cm apart in the same subject.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arm
  • Cell Count
  • Histamine / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mast Cells / cytology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Skin / blood supply
  • Skin / cytology*
  • Skin / metabolism


  • Histamine