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Immunohistochemical and ultrastructural analyses of in situ activation of hepatic stellate cells around Propionibacterium acnes-induced granulomas in the rat liver


, : Immunohistochemical and ultrastructural analyses of in situ activation of hepatic stellate cells around Propionibacterium acnes-induced granulomas in the rat liver. Journal of Submicroscopic Cytology and Pathology 29(1): 125-133

Stellate cells embrace the hepatic sinusoids as pericytes. To demonstrate their activation in juxta-sinusoidal location, we induced hepatic granulomatous inflammation, which did not accompany liver injury nor fibrosis, by administrating a low dose (10 mg/kg b.w.) of heat-killed Propionibacterium acnes into rats. Macrophages and lymphocytes migrated out of the sinusoid and made compact granulomas in the space of Disse. Stellate cells which faced on the granulomas were closely attached to the sinusoidal endothelial cells and extended projections into the spaces between the constituent mononuclear cells of granulomas. They did not migrate into granulomas nor displayed mitosis. Immunohistochemically, stellate cells around the granulomas expressed alpha-smooth muscle actin (alpha-SMA), whereas those in the non-granulomatous regions did not. Small deposits of type III collagen were found at the periphery of granulomas. Biochemical analysis showed an increased amount of alpha-SMA protein and type III collagen mRNA in the granuloma-bearing liver. Transforming growth factor-beta and platelet-derived growth factor were detected within the granulomas. The present study has revealed that stellate cells are activated in situ by extrasinusoidal macrophages in a paracrine manner without being detached from the sinusoidal wall.

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PMID: 9066151


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