Extracellular matrix formation in piecemeal necrosis: immunoelectron microscopic study


Third Department of Internal Medicine, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, 2630 Sugitani, Toyama, 930–01 Japan


ABSTRACT— Immunolocalization of Type I, Type III and Type IV collagens, laminin and prolyl hydroxylase (PH), a key enzyme in collagen synthesis, was examined to clarify the fibrotic process in chronic, active liver disease. In piecemeal necrosis of chronic, active hepatitis (CAH) and active liver cirrhosis (LC), fat-storing cells (FSCs) and transitional cells (TSCs), containing abundant rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER), were increased in number and stained intensely for PH. Immunodeposits of extracellular matrix (ECM) components were found in the RER, Golgi apparatus (GA) and vesicles of these cells, especially in cases with marked inflammation. On the other hand, in the periportal areas of chronic, persistent hepatitis (CPH) or inactive LC, immunoreaction of ECM components was seldom found in the RER of FSCs and TSCs. In the portal tract, immunodeposits of ECM components were seldom found in the organelles of fibroblasts, although ECM was increased there. These findings indicate that FSCs and TSCs in piecemeal necrosis might play a role in the production of ECM components in the progression of fibrosis during the development of chronic active liver disease. In addition, ECM component production by FSCs and TSCs is associated with marked inflammation.