Electron microscopy was carried out on sections through tissue mast cells from the peritoneal fluid of rats and hamsters, either untreated, x-irradiated, or injected with toluidine blue, protamine sulfate, or stilbamidine. Mast cells from untreated animals have large nuclei and are filled with densely packed, cytoplasmic granules. The latter possess a distinct boundary and an internal structure which is reticular or vacuolar in nature. Between the granules are found elongate mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum. Mitochondria often appear also in groups in granule-free areas adjacent to the nucleus. Nuclear and cell membranes of an apparent double nature are found. After treatment with toluidine blue, protamine sulfate, and stilbamidine the granules are surrounded by clear areas and are widely separated from one another; the endoplasmic reticulum is more conspicuous. The internal structure of the granule is unchanged. In the mast cells from x-irradiated animals there is an apparent coalescence of granules which is attented by a loss of intragranular structure. The findings are discussed in relation to other work on the structure and function of mast cells.

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