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International Journal of Morphology

On-line version ISSN 0717-9502


HIRSCHMANN, Michael Tobias; ZSCHABITZ, Albrecht  and  STOFFT, Eckart. Immunohistochemical Characterization of Human Synovial Bursa Cells by Light and Transmission Electron Microscopy: Where do These Cells Come From?. Int. J. Morphol. [online]. 2007, vol.25, n.1, pp.5-14. ISSN 0717-9502.

In the present study human synovial bursa specimens were examined by light and transmission electron microscopy. For light microscopical investigation the bursa tissue was stained with azan, haematoxylin-eosin and monoclonal antibodies (CD14, CD33, CD36, CD68, laminin). For electron microscopical investigation the bursa specimens were fixated with Karnovsky's solution and 1,5% osmium tetroxide (Os04) in water distilled and contrasted with 5% uranylacetate and embedded in Epon®. For the first time the antigenic phenotype was characterized and conclusions were drawn about the origin of the synovial bursa cells. Histologically the bursa was divided in two distinct layers; the intima, which is formed by a lining layer and a lamina propria, and a subintimal layer. The intima consisted of macrophage like (type I) and fibroblast like cells (type II). According to the immunohistochemical staining and the electron microscopy the type I cell seemed to be a bone marrow derived monocyte and the more frequently seen type II cell was derived from subintimal fibroblasts. The intimal bursa cell frequently interdigitated and usually communicated by their filopodia (indirect cell-cell-communication). Neither tight or gap junctions nor desmosomes could be documented. Although there was no evidence for the existence of a basal lamina, a concentration of extracellular matrix components beyond the bursa cells was observed. In our study there was no accumulation of laminin around the bursal cells, but striking was a vascular bundle of the intima subintima border zone, which was positive for laminin and CD68 and separated the intima from the subintima. In our opinion this histological structure plays an important role in the regeneration of the lining cells and acts like a barrier between bursa and blood

Keywords : Synovial bursa; CD14 antigen; CD33 antigen; CD68 antigen; Basal lamina.

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