Hyperplasia of Paneth and intermediate cells is a recently described component of the response of the small intestine of mice to infection with the nematode Trichinella spiralis. To investigate whether this hyperplasia is parasite specific or represents a generic intestinal response to infection, mice were infected with T. spiralis, Nippostrongylus brasiliensis, Heligmosomoides polygyrus or Schistosoma mansoni and tissue samples taken at various time-points post-infection to determine Paneth and intermediate cell numbers. All infections induced Paneth and intermediate cell hyperplasia, but the patterns of response varied between the parasite species concerned, reflecting differences in their relationships with the host. Increases in the numbers of these cells appeared to correlate with known patterns of T-helper-2 immune responses.
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