Departments of Pathology, University of Queensland Medical School and Royal Brisbane Hospital, Herston, Brisbane, Australia PLATES XXII AND XXIII THEhigh incidence of mitotic figures in slowly growing basal-cell carcinomas of skin has long been an enigma (Willis, 1953), and recent detailed studies of cell proliferation in these tumours have confirmed that there is indeed a gross discrepancy between their expected and observed rate of enlargement (Frindel, Malaise and Tubiana, 1968; Weinstein and Frost, 1970). It has been suggested that extensive and continuous loss of neoplastic cells is the most likely explanation for this discrepancy, but the actual mechanism of the loss has remained obscure. Progressive loss of hepatocytes due to a distinct type of cellular death termed shrinkage necrosis (Kerr, 1965, 1971) has been shown to be largely responsible for the rapid atrophy of rat liver tissue that follows obstruction of its portal blood supply (Kerr, 1971, 1972). This process characteristically affects scattered individual cells, which initially condense and separate from their neighbours. Numerous buds then develop on their surfaces and subsequently separate to produce small rounded masses of compacted but well-preserved cytoplasm, which may or may not contain pyknotic nuclear remnants. Such structures, customarily referred to as
The Journal of Pathology – Wiley
Published: May 1, 1972
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