Virchows Archiv B

, 57:291 | Cite as

α-Smooth muscle actin is expressed in a subset of bone marrow stromal cells in normal and pathological conditions

  • Annette Schmitt-Gräff
  • Omar Skalli
  • Giulio Gabbiani


A series of 217 trephine bone marrow biopsies from adult patients and specimens from 16 fetuses and 5 infants were examined for the presence of stromal myoid cells (MCs) using a monoclonal antibody recognizing α-smooth muscle actin. In the normal adult bone marrow, stromal cells did not contain α-smooth muscle actin, whereas during fetal life, many α-smooth muscle actin-containing MCs were connected with vascular sinusoids in the primitive bone marrow. This cell type reappeared in various characteristic distribution patterns in adult bone marrow during different neoplastic and non-neoplastic conditions including metastatic carcinoma, Hodgkin’s disease, multiple myeloma, hairy cell leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia (FAB M4, 5, 7) and chronic myeloproliferative diseases. In general, the appearance of MCs was associated with a slight to pronounced increase in the deposition of reticulin and collagen fibers. We propose that bone marrow MCs represent a distinct subpopulation of fiber-associated or adventitial reticular cells undergoing cytoskeletal remodeling in response to various stimuli.

Key words

Actin isoforms Myoid cells Hematopoiesis Bone remodeling Bone fibrosis Hematological malignancies Bone metastasis 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annette Schmitt-Gräff
    • 1
  • Omar Skalli
    • 2
  • Giulio Gabbiani
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PathologyUniversity of Düsseldorf, School of MedicineDüsseldorf 1Federal Republic of Germany
  2. 2.Department of PathologyUniversity of Geneva, CMUGeneva 4Switzerland

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