Proliferation characteristics and polyploidization of cultured myofibroblasts from a patient with fibroblastic rheumatism

C. Lanni, M. G. Bottone, A. Bardoni, K. Dyne, C. Soldani, C. Pellicciari, R. Caporali, Carlomaurizio Montecucco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fibroblast-like cells were obtained from a nodule of a patient with fibroblastic rheumatism, and grown in culture for different times (from passage 3 to 21). These cells as well as the fibroblasts taken from an unaffected skin area (controls) of the same patient, have been investigated by fluorescence microscopy, cytochemical methods and cytometry, to evaluate their cytodifferentiation features and cytokinetic characteristics. In addition, in low-passage cultures, the secretion of collagen and of non-collagenic proteins was evaluated using electrophoretic techniques. The immunolabeling with antibodies against sm-specific α-actin (which was taken as a marker of myofibroblasts) showed that, already in low-passage cultures, the percentage of myofibroblasts was higher in the nodule-derived cell populations, and progressively increased with increasing passages. This suggests that myofibroblasts have higher proliferation potential than control fibroblasts. Myofibroblasts were also found to undergo polyploidization and hypertrophy, especially in high-passage cultures. Based on these results, it may be hypothesized that in fibroblastic rheumatism the development of the typical nodules could depend on the intrinsic capability of myofibroblats of proliferating faster than normal fibroblasts and of becoming polyploid and hypertrophic. Nodule-derived cells in culture synthesized slightly less collagen and non-collagen proteins than did the control fibroblasts; this suggests that the increased fibrosis observed in nodules in situ could be likely dependent on a reduced degradation of the extracellular matrix components.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-262
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean journal of histochemistry : EJH
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Cell cultures
  • Cell proliferation
  • Collagen synthesis
  • Cytochemistry
  • Fibroblastic rheumatism
  • Myofibroblasts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Anatomy
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Developmental Biology


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