Japanese Journal of Veterinary Research;Volume 50, Number 2-3


Cellular architecture of the synovium in the tendon sheath of horses : An immunohistochemical and scanning electron microscopic study

KOHAMA, Morimasa;NIO, Junko;HASHIMOTO, Yoshiharu;IWANAGA, Toshihiko

Permalink : http://hdl.handle.net/2115/2957
JaLCDOI : 10.14943/jjvr.50.2-3.125
KEYWORDS : tendon sheath;synovium;scanning electron microscopy;PGP 9.5;horse


The intimal lining cells of the synovium in joints have been studied morphologically and histochemically and shown to consist of macrophagic cells (type A) and fibroblast-like cells (type B). It is believed that the structure of the synovium in the tendon sheath is similar to that in the joint, but there have been only a few morphological studies of the tendon sheath. The present study revealed the cellular architecture of synovium in the tendon sheath of horses by histochemistry and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Like the joint, the inner surface of the tendon sheath was covered with a cell-rich intimal layer. Acid phosphatase-positive A cells accumulated in the mesotendon but few in other regions. B cells were selectively immunolabeled with protein gene product (PGP) 9.5 antiserum and distributed in the entire length of the synovial intima in the tendon sheath. The synovial intima consisted of a surface layer rich in the processes of B cells and a deep layer containing cell bodies of B cells. Using SEM, B cells could be classified into two types according to the morphology of their processes. B cells of dendritic type were located mainly in the joint-side of the tendon sheath and extended branched processes to form a meshwork on the intimal surface. B cells of flat type were located in the skin-side of the tendon sheath and in the mesotendon. Their membranous processes extended in a horizontal direction and covered the intimal surface, resembling epithelium. It appears likely that the morphology and distribution of synovial intimal cells are influenced by various factors, such as the nature of the underlying tissues and the magnitude of mechanical stress.