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Virchows Arch. 1998 Jul;433(1):55-61.

Immunolocalization of extracellular matrix proteins and integrins in sarcoid lymph nodes.

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Third Department of Internal Medicine, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine, Japan.


To improve our understanding of the role of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins and integrins during the processes of granuloma formation in sarcoidosis, we examined the distribution of ECM proteins and the expression of integrins in sarcoid lymph nodes by immunohistochemical methods. We also examined the expression of transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1), which is one of major regulators for synthesis of ECM proteins. Most ECM proteins were detected in the periphery of the granulomas in a concentric pattern, and fibronectin was diffusely detected from an early to a regressive stage. Compared with normal lymph nodes, most beta1-integrin subfamilies (alpha1, alpha4, alpha5 and alpha6) were more strongly expressed on lymphocytes around the granulomas. Epithelioid cells exhibited strong expression of the alpha5 molecule. Fibroblasts exhibited the expression of the alpha2 and alpha5 molecules surrounding ECM proteins. The alpha5beta1 molecule had a distribution similar to that of fibronectin. TGF-beta1 was detected in epithelioid cells throughout the various evolutional stages and its expression was especially marked in mature granulomas. Interaction of fibronectin and the alpha5beta1 molecule may have an important role in the process of formation of sarcoid granuloma. The expression of TGF-beta1 may be involved in the regression of sarcoid granuloma by initiating fibrosis and atrophy of epithelioid cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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