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Objectives: To study the role of another cell line in fetal thymic haematopoietic proliferation and differentiation in different stages of development: the stromal myoid
cells. Design: Fifteen cases of fetal thymic specimens (4th to 8th weeks: five cases 16th to 20th weeks: five cases and 28th to 32nd weeks: five cases respectively) were studied. Tissue paraffin samples were stained immunohistochemically using (i) a monoclonal antibody recognising alpha-smooth muscle actin, a contractile microfilament expressed exclusively by smooth muscle cells, myofibroblasts and related cells, (ii) a monoclonal antibody glycophorin C recognising the erythropoietic cells.
Setting: Histology - Embryology Department of Democritus University of Thrace (Alexandroupolis) over ten year period (1991-2001).
Results: The number of alpha-smooth muscle actin - positive cells significantly increased during the late second and third trimester of gestation. In the above period a relevant increase in the number of glycophorin C positive cells were observed.
Conclusion: Our data suggest that a myoid cell line is involved in the formation of an appropriate microenvironment for homing and proliferation of erythropoietic cells.
East African Medical Journal Vol. 81 No. 2 February 2004: 78-81