Cell and tissue research. vol:174 issue:4 pages:499-518
The different stages during aggregation of diploid human skin fibroblasts have been examined by transmission and scanning electron microscopy. As a result of aggregation, fibroblasts form a complex tissue configuration. Numerous intercellular junctions can be observed, while the cells remain polygonal and do not develop an organised intracellular cytoskeleton. Cell division occurs only rarely. After aggregation, signs of progressive auto-digestion develop. Adhesion to a substrate results in outgrowth of the cells and monolayer formation, even when extensive cell damage had occurred. The morphology of fibroblasts in aggregates and in the monolayers, from which they were derived is compared and the contribution of the aggregate system to the study of fibroblast behavior is discussed.