, Volume 405, Issue 1, pp 41-53

Palmar fibromatosis (Dupuytren's contracture)

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Forty three cases of palmar fibromatosis were studied by light and electron microscopy, enzyme histochemistry, and ultrastructural immunohistochemistry. By electron microscopy most of the cells composing the nodules in both the proliferative and the involutional stages were identical to myofibroblasts. The myofibroblasts in the involutional nodules often possessed microfilament aggregates probably representing contraction of micro(actin)fllaments in the cytoplasm. The proliferative nodules revealed small perivascular haemorrhages and haemosiderin deposits accompanied by accumulation of macrophages and some lymphocytes; these inflammatory cells possibly secrete a certain growth factor inducing proliferation of genetically abnormal fibroblasts and myofibroblasts. Diaminopeptidase IV was detected in myofibroblasts and fibroblasts by enzyme histochemistry and ultrastructural immunohistochemistry; the enzyme may play a role in the metabolism of intercellular substances. Some perivascular mesenchymal cells, interpreted as variants of myofibroblasts, had moderate activity of alkaline phosphatase.

This work was supported by Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung