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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Print version ISSN 0074-0276On-line version ISSN 1678-8060

Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz vol.86 no.4 Rio de Janeiro Oct./Dec. 1991 

Hyperplasia of elastic tissue in hepatic schistosomal fibrosis

Zilton A. Andrade1 

Luiz Antonio R. Freitas1 

Centro de Pesquisas Gonçalo Moniz, Salvador, Brasil


Elastic tissue hyperplasia, revealed by means of histological, immunocytochemical and ultrastructural methods, appeared as a prominent change in surgical liver biopsies taken from 61 patients with schistosomal periportal and septal fibrosis. Such hyperplasia was absent in ecperimental murine schistosomiasis, including mice with "pipe-stem" fibrosis. Displaced connective tissue cells in periportal areas, such as smooth muscle cells, more frequently observed in human material, could be the site of excessive elastin synthesis, and could explain the differences observed in human and experimental materials. Elastic tissue, sometimes represented by its microfibrillar components, also appeared to be more condensed in areas of matrix (collagen) degradation, suggesting a participation of this tissue in the remodelling of the extracellular matrix. By its rectratile properties elastic tissue hyperplasia in hepatic schistosomiasis can cause vascular narrowing and thus play a role in the pathogenesis of portal hypeertension.


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