Cellular and Molecular Biology


Lymph node hyalinization in elderly Japanese

I. Taniguchi1, G. Murakami2, A. Sato2, D. Fujiwara2, H. Ichikawa3, T. Yajima4 and G. Kohama1

1Department of Oral Surgery, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine, 2Department of Anatomy, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine, 3Department of Surgical Oncology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine and 4Department of Anatomy, Health Sciences University of Hokkaido School of Dentistry

Offprint requests to: Gen Murakami, MD, PhD., Department of Anatomy, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine, South 1, West 17, Chuo-ku, Sapporo, 060-8556 Japan. Fax: 81-11-618-4288. e-mail: chisa@sapmed.ac.jp


Summary. Lymph node hyalinization has been comprehensively investigated using specimens obtained from elderly Japanese and white Americans. Onion-peel lesions and associated meshwork areas were often found in the medullary sinus of the thoracic node (mediastinal-type hyalinization), while eosinophilic, glassy and spotty lesions were consistently seen in B lymphocyte areas of the pelvic node (pelvic-type hyalinization). The mediastinal-type hyalinization was comprised of thin collagen fibrils (ca 50 nm in diameter), whereas the pelvic-type hyalinization had thick fibrils (ca 150 nm in diameter). This difference seemed to be consistent with a difference in composite collagen fibrils of vascular walls between the thoracic and pelvic regions. The pelvic-type hyalinization was often or sometimes seen in other nodes, such as cervical, axillary, abdominal and inguinal nodes, especially in white Americans. The mediastinal-type hyalinization, usually in combination with a sinus filled with anthracotic macrophages, tended to be observed in Japanese more frequently than in white Americans. Anthracosis seemed to be connected to the pathogenesis of the hyalinization. On the other hand, because the lesion was weakly positive for Factor VIII immunohistochemistry and because lesions were located along thin vessels, the pelvic-type hyalinization seemed to originate from vascular degeneration in the nodal cortex. Due to the high incidence and large proportion in total volume of the node, the hyalinization seems to be one of the major events that diminish the nodal filtration function and ruin the node with aging. Histol. Histopathol. 18, 1169-1180 (2003)

Key words: Lymph nodes, Hyalinization, Cortex, Sinus, Aging