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December 1977

Ultrastructure of Cutaneous Cellular Infiltrates in Scleroderma

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital, Philadelphia.

Arch Dermatol. 1977;113(12):1661-1666. doi:10.1001/archderm.1977.01640120029002

• Electron microscopy of the skin was performed in ten patients with systemic and four with localized scleroderma. The following three groups of cells were identified: (1) mature lymphocytes, T lymphoblasts, immature plasma cells, and plasma cells; (2) fibroblasts, fibrocytes, and fibroblast-like cells; and (3) macrophages, undifferentiated mesenchymal cells, and monocytes. In those specimens with mononuclear cell infiltrates, the most common cells were lymphocytic-types, macrophages, and fibroblasts with well developed rough endoplasmic reticulum. In the specimens at the fibrotic stage, fibroblasts and histiocytic-type cells predominated. This study suggests that cellular and humoral immunity may play a role in the pathophysiology of scleroderma.

(Arch Dermatol 113:1661-1666, 1977)