Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary Immunocytochemical and histochemical properties of macrophages present in the subcutaneous chronic inflammatory responses surrounding adultOnchocerca volvulus (nodules) in human tissues were examined. Macrophages with strong non-specific esterase (NSE) and acid phosphatase (AcPase) activities but weak adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) activity and HLA-DR expression (NSE+++, AcPase+++, ATPase−/+, HLA-DR−/+) were present in the centre of nodules. Many of the cells adhering to the surface of worms were NSE+++, AcPase+++, ATPase−, HLA-DR+++. The inner zone of the fibrous capsule of nodules contained macrophages with the profile NSE+++, AcPase−, ATPase−/+, HLA-DR−/+. A fourth type, NSE+++, AcPase−/+, ATPase−/+, HLA-DR+++, was located in the outer zone of the capsule, frequently within perivascular accumulations of macrophages, lymphocytes and plasma cells. Active fibroblasts were identified at the inner edge of the fibrous capsule by alkaline phosphatase staining. A feature of all nodules examined was the presence of lipid-filled macrophages, demonstrated by Oil Red O stain; these cells were usually situated in zones adjacent to the centre of nodules, and were of the NSE++, AcPase++, ATPase−/+, HLA-DR−/+ type. Lipid accumulation was not found to be related to the clinical status of the patients studied. The origin and functional significance of this lipid is unknown.
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