Matrix remodelling and fibroblast phenotype in early lesions of human cutaneous Leishmaniasis
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SUMMARY The connective matrix participates directly in early pathological events observed in the cutaneous lesion of leishmaniasis, due to Leishmania braziliensis guyanensis. A sample of 19 skin biopsies was examined by light and electron microscopy, in order to identify the matrix components (collagen isotypes I to lV, elastin and membrane associated proteins) of the dermal infiltrate, and the pattern of organization of the reparative connective matrix. An extensive remodelling process of apparently parasite-independent nature involves different fibroblast sub-populations. The original organization of this immune-mediated lesion offers a rare opportunity to study in situ the local inflammatory mediators inducing the activation of fibroblasts and macrophages.