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The development of the synovial membrane was analyzed in serial sections of 21 temporomandibular joints of human fetuses at 9 to 13 weeks of gestation. Sections of two fetuses at 12 weeks of development were used to perform immunohistochemical expression of the markers CD68 and Hsp27 on the synovial lining. Macrophage-like type A and fibroblast-like type B cells, which express CD68 and Hsp27, respectively, were observed at the twelfth week of development. Our results suggest that the development of the synovial membrane is related to the vascularization of the joint and the formation of the articular cavities.
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