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December 1987

Ultrastructure of Lymphocyte-Mediated Fat-Cell Lysis in Erythema Nodosum-like Lesions of Behçet's Syndrome

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pharmacology (Drs Honma and Saito) and Dermatology (Drs Nakagawa and Ueki), Kawasaki Medical School, Kurashiki, Japan; and the Department of Dermatology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea (Drs Bang and Lee).

Arch Dermatol. 1987;123(12):1650-1654. doi:10.1001/archderm.1987.01660360078016

• In this study, biopsy specimens from 18 patients with Behçet's syndrome were examined by electron microscopy with particular attention to the appearance of the lymphocyte-macrophage infiltrate into the interlobules of subcutaneous fat in erythema nodosum-like lesions. Electron microscopic evaluation revealed vacuolization changes of fat cells with detachment of their cell membrane from the basal lamina that permitted lymphocytes and macrophages to enter into this developed space. We believe that the detachment of fat cells from the basal lamina precedes invasion by lymphocytes which, in turn, attracts macrophages into the space. This eventually leads to fat-cell lysis accompanied by activation of macrophages, which causes further inflammation, completing the picture of panniculitis in the erythema nodosum-like lesions in Behçet's syndrome.

(Arch Dermatol 1987;123:1650-1654)