Quantitative microscopy of mole rat eosinophil granule morphology

Dina Amihai, Isaac Meilijson, Joseph Terkel, Ilan Hammel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mole rat bone marrow cells and peritoneal eosinophils are used to study granule morphological maturation by quantitative microscopy. The bulk eosinophil granule content is pre-stored in unique granular structures known as crystalloid or secondary granules. Mole rat eosinophil granules exhibit the basic structure of an electron-dense crystalloid core surrounded by a lighter, homogeneous matrix. Morphometric analysis demonstrated that bone marrow-derived eosinophil sphere-like granules display a periodic, multimodal granule volume distribution. In contrast, peritoneal eosinophils display cigar-shaped granules, whose crystalloid cores are more variable in size and shape as compared to bone marrow eosinophil granules. Using a morphometric approach, we deduced that the basic granule volume quantum is similar in both cases, suggesting that the sphere-like young eosinophil granules turn into dense ellipsoidal ones by intragranular processes in which both volume and membrane surface are conserved. Crystalloid granule mediators are known to be widely associated with allergic inflammatory events, which may damage the host tissue following secretion to the extracellular environment. Based on mathematical modeling, we suggest that this deviation from sphere-like to ellipsoidal shape reflects an adaptive response of the mole rat to its unique solitary life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-151
Number of pages13
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 22 Oct 2015


  • Eosinophil
  • Quantitative microscopy
  • Unit granule


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