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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
On-line version ISSN 1678-8060
LENZI, HL et al. Four whole-istic aspects of schistosome granuloma biology: fractal arrangement, internal regulation, autopoietic component and closure. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz [online]. 2006, vol.101, suppl.1, pp. 219-231. ISSN 1678-8060. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0074-02762006000900034.
This paper centers on some whole-istic organizational and functional aspects of hepatic Schistosoma mansoni granuloma, which is an extremely complex system. First, it structurally develops a collagenic topology, originated bidirectionally from an inward and outward assembly of growth units. Inward growth appears to be originated from myofibroblasts derived from small portal vessel around intravascular entrapped eggs, while outward growth arises from hepatic stellate cells. The auto-assembly of the growth units defines the three-dimensional scaffold of the schistosome granulomas. The granuloma surface irregularity and its border presented fractal dimension equal to 1.58. Second, it is internally regulated by intricate networks of immuneneuroendocrine stimuli orchestrated by leptin and leptin receptors, substance P and Vasoactive intestinal peptide. Third, it can reach the population of ± 40,000 cells and presents an autopoietic component evidenced by internal proliferation (Ki-67+ Cells), and by expression of c-Kit+ Cells, leptin and leptin receptor (Ob-R), granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF-R), and erythropoietin (Epo-R) receptors. Fourth, the granulomas cells are intimately connected by pan-cadherins, occludin and connexin-43, building a state of closing (granuloma closure). In conclusion, the granuloma is characterized by transitory stages in such a way that its organized structure emerges as a global property which is greater than the sum of actions of its individual cells and extracellular matrix components.
Keywords : Schistosoma mansoni; granuloma; fractal; leptin; ocludin; connexin-43.