The involved palmar aponeurosis of 30 patients in different stages of Dupuytren's disease was removed and examined by light and electron microscopy. The specimens were obtained by Z-plasty and limited fasciectomy. The light microscopic studies of the early stages of the disease showed areas rich in cells and surrounded by a network of collagen fibres. In the late phase of the lesion mature scar tissue was observed. By electron microscopy fibroblast-like cells - so-called myofibroblasts - were seen in the early stages of the lesion. These cells possess, in addition to nuclear deformations, the following ultrastructural cytoplasmic characteristics: microfibrils occasionally forming small dense bodies, prominent rough endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complex, many mitochondria and free ribosomes. The cell surface is partly covered by a 'basement membrane'. The myofibroblasts attach to each other frequently through hemidesmosomes or desmosomes. According to data in the literature, the microfilaments within the cytoplasm contain actin, consequently these cells have the property of contraction. In our opinion - in accordance with some other authors - the myofibroblasts might play an important role in the pathogenesis of Dupuytren's contracture.
|Number of pages||5|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1 1980|
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