Histologic identification of mast cells in human dental pulp

Gary Scott Miller, Robert N. Sternberg, Sam J. Piliero, Paul A. Rosenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous investigators who attempted to identify mast cells in the dental pulp have used demineralizing or tooth-splitting procedures to obtain their tissue samples. However, Eda and Langeland15 found that the fluorescence of mast cells is destroyed by acid demineralizing agents. On the other hand, tooth splitting may damage the pulp by crushing it with forceps, or cutting and heating it with burs, stones, or discs. In the present study, we used the extirpated pulps from teeth in which endodontic access openings were made by means of high-speed rotary instruments with water spray. Metachromatic staining methods failed to demonstrate mast cells in any of the non-inflamed pulp specimens. Two of the inflamed pulp specimens revealed numerous mast cells which appeared intact and well preserved with no evidence of degranulation. As to the distribution of the mast cells, there was no correlation with the number and types of other inflammatory cells observed. Although several cells present in the specimens examined were suggestive of mast cells, only those cells that revealed definitive metachromasia were included in this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)559-566
Number of pages8
JournalOral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1978

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • General Dentistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Histologic identification of mast cells in human dental pulp'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this