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Chemical and histochemical characterization of mucopolysaccharides in a jaw myxoma
  1. J. J. Hodson,
  2. R. E. S. Prout
  1. Department of Oral Pathology, University of Sheffield
  2. Department of Biochemistry, University of Sheffield


    Chemical and histochemical analyses, including testicular and staphylococcal hyaluronidase digestion, have been made of a jaw myxoma and the results show the presence of two acid mucopolysaccharides. Of the total mucopolysaccharide present 80% was hyaluronic acid and 20% chondroitin sulphate. The high content of non-sulphated mucopolysaccharide would seem to explain the paucity of fibres characteristic of the myxoma. It is suggested that myxomas generally probably have a similar high hyaluronic acid content. It is considered that the cell concerned is a mesenchymal cell elaborating non-sulphated mucopolysaccharide and may be called a `myxoblast'; it is metabolically different from the sulphated-mucopolysaccharide-collagen-producing fibroblast. The high hyaluronic acid content is much greater than that found in embryonic connective tissue and may be a significant factor in the neoplastic behaviour of the myxomatous tissue. The aggressive behaviour of the myxoma is against a simple reversion to embryonic mesenchyme. It is concluded that the myxoblast is an active mucopolysaccharide-secreting cell and that mucin in the myxoma is not a sign of cell degeneration of preexisting fibroblasts or collagen.

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