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March 1955

Elastic Fibers in Unusual Dermatoses

Author Affiliations

Beverly Hills, Calif.

From the Department of Medicine, Division of Dermatology, University of California School of Medicine at Los Angeles.

AMA Arch Derm. 1955;71(3):338-348. doi:10.1001/archderm.1955.01540270050005

The elastic fibers of the skin are frequently involved in the histopathologic picture of a dermatosis. Since Unna's1 first elaboration on the elastic fibers and their degenerated forms of elacin and kollastin, the elastic fibers have been considered as an entity. Characteristic changes in the elastic fibers have become classical criteria and almost pathognomonic of certain skin diseases. The variation in the chemical composition of tissues results in altered reaction to specific basic fuchsin-resorcinol stains.

In skin, the cutis consists of collagen, reticulin, and elastic fibers. The term "collagen" originates from the word meaning "glueforming," which comes about on hydrolysis of the collagen, yielding gelatin. Fibroblasts laid down along certain planes of tension develop intracellular cystoplasmic fibrils considered to be collagen. Maximow and Bloom2 believed that fibroblasts originated chiefly from the undifferentiated stellate mesenchymal cells lying near blood vessels and might

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