Abnormal behavior of cultured fibroblasts from nodule and nonaffected aponeurosis of Dupuytren's disease

B. Azzarone, C. Failly-Crepin, L. Daya-Grosjean, C. Chaponnier, G. Gabbiani

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Vimentin-positive, desmin-negative cells were established in culture from the nodule and from apparently normal palmar aponeurosis of a patient with Dupuytren's disease and compared with normal human embryonic and adult fibroblasts or sarcomatous cells. Cells from the nodule display in vitro biological properties that are intermediate between those expressed by normal fibroblasts and sarcoma cells or cells from the nodule transformed with SV40 virus. Thus, they represent an interesting in vitro model of partially transformed human cells. This behavior is not evolutive and justifies the classification of Dupuytren's disease among the benign mesenchymal tumors. The production of high level of plasminogen activator probably explains the local reactive pathology, and could act as a mitogenic stimulus for the proliferation of the nodule itself. Cultures derived from the apparently normal palmar aponeurosis show some but not all the abnormal growth properties of cells from nodules; this may help to explain the onset of local recurrences. Our results suggest that Dupuytren's disease is not strictly local and limited to the nodules, but affects, at least partially, the whole aponeurosis. Dupuytren's nodules could be considered as a model of tumor progression in a benign situation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-361
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Physiology


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