General Discussion on Morphology of Elastin and Elastic Tissue
Dr. Ross: I would like to make a statement about the work that Dr. Cotta-Pereira showed because I am guilty of having used the term histoalchemy for oxytalan and elaunin staining procedures. As a matter of fact, I even used it in a paper we wrote several years ago. In a sense, it is histoalchemy, but I think what his work has shown, confirmed in part by Dr. Keith’s presentation, is that these stains now may have a very useful purpose even though they don’t tell us anything about the chemistry of the fibers. The concordance that Dr. Cotta-Pereira beautifully showed between oxytalan, those microfibrils with a small percentage of elastin; and the elastic fiber, principally elastin; permit us to use these relatively simple approaches at the light microscope level, to get some notion as to what’s residing where, since he’s now shown this in a number of different systems. And I think that represents an important contribution in the sense that it now will permit us to use these stains and go back and look at a number of tissues with some sense of confidence about what’s there. It doesn’t answer the question, obviously, why the stains work the way they do; but it does say something about what’s there. It also poses a number of fascinating questions. His observations in the skin suggest that this may be at least part of the reason for dermal-epidermal adherence, since he would suggest that these bundles of microfibrils which stain for oxytalan run from a series of connections in the deep dermis via elastic fibers and those containing small amounts of elastin, right up to the basal lamina. People have been looking for these modes of connection and this, in fact, may provide such connective modes. So I think these have opened a series of observations that will permit us to ask a number of questions that we’ve not really been able to ask, simply because we haven’t been thinking in those terms before.
KeywordsElastic Fiber Periodontal Ligament Eccrine Sweat Gland Dansyl Chloride Connective Mode
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