Biopsies of rheumatoid synovial membrane before and after chrysotherapy were examined with the light and electron microscopes, and subjected to electronprobe x-ray analysis. The main change noted was the occurrence of electron-dense deposits of characteristic morphology within pre-existing lysosomes. Such deposits were also seen in other varieties of lysosomal bodies. X-ray analysis showed the presence of gold, phosphorus, osmium, and calcium in these deposits. The present study shows that gold enters the pre-existing lysosomes, supporting the concept that the beneficial effects of chrysotherapy are due to its action on the lysosome.
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