Table of Contents
ISRN Parasitology
Volume 2013, Article ID 804585, 8 pages
Research Article

Mucin-Related Molecular Responses of Bronchial Epithelial Cells in Rats Infected with the Nematode Nippostrongylus brasiliensis

1Department of Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kawaramachi-Hirokoji, Kyoto 602-8566, Japan
2Department of Medical Zoology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto 602-8566, Japan

Received 26 January 2013; Accepted 18 February 2013

Academic Editors: A. Jardim, G. Mkoji, and R. Zufferey

Copyright © 2013 Koichi Soga et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Although mucins are essential for the protection of internal epithelial surfaces, molecular responses involving mucin production and secretion in response to various infectious agents in the airway have not been fully elucidated. The present study analysed airway goblet cell mucins in rats infected with the nematode Nippostrongylus brasiliensis, which migrates to the lungs shortly after infection. Goblet cell hyperplasia occurred in the bronchial epithelium 3–10 days after infection. The high iron diamine-alcian blue staining combined with neuraminidase treatment showed that sialomucin is the major mucin in hyperplastic goblet cells. Immunohistochemical studies demonstrated that goblet cell mucins were immunoreactive with both the major airway mucin core peptide, Muc5AC, and the major intestinal mucin core peptide Muc2. Reverse transcription real-time PCR studies demonstrated upregulation of gene transcription levels of Muc5AC, Muc2, the sialyltransferase St3gal4, and the resistin-like molecule beta (Retnlb) in the lungs. These results showed that nematode infection induces airway epithelial responses characterised by the production of sialomucin with Muc5AC and Muc2 core peptides. These mucins, as well as Retnlb, might have important roles in the protection of mucosa from migrating nematodes in the airway.