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Arkh Patol. 1991;53(11):38-42.

[Intercellular contacts in portions of early atherosclerotic lesions of the human aorta].

[Article in Russian]


The ultrastructure of human thoracic aortas collected at autopsy from 16 trauma victims aged from 3 to 40 years was investigated. Intercellular contacts were found in all aortas examined. The contacting cells localized predominantly in aortic areas predisposed to atherosclerosis, i. e. in areas situated around the ostia of the intercostal arteries. Most of contacting cells were monocytes--macrophages (Mn/Mph) which interacted with foam cell and intimal smooth muscle cells (SMCs). Only occasional contacts were formed by lymphocytes and endothelial cells. All intimal contacting SMCs were of the synthetic phenotype, i. e. they did not contain myofilaments and had well developed endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus. In thickened aortic intima the contacting cells were seen with the signs of destruction. The data obtained suggest that the contacts between intimal cells may be the consequence of the immune reaction directed to the transfer of information, cell cytolysis and utilization of cell debris.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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