We have observed pigmented cytoplasmic granules, with the characteristic staining properties of lipofuscin (ceroid, "wear-and-tear") pigment, in newborn human liver. The pigment is found at the periphery of the lobule in hepatocytes and some bile ductular cells. It is acid-fast, PAS-positive after diastase digestion, slightly argyophilic and sudanophilic, and markedly Schmorl's- and peroxidase positive in paraffin sections. Difficult to see in sections stained with hematoxylin and eosin, the pigment can be detected in unstained sections. The granules also resemble lipofuscin found in adult tissues, in their ultra-structural and enzymatic properties. They are polymorphic, contain granular material of moderate and high electron opacity, and are delimited by a single membrane. Acid phosphatase and ß-glucuronidase activities are visualized in the newborn granules, identifying them as lysosomes. The granules also contain copper and, to a much lesser extent, iron. The accumulation of lipofuscin pigment in lysosomes in many tissues correlates well with aging, and this process has been interpreted as a reflection of cellular degeneration or wear-and-tear. However, the presence of lipofuscin granules as a constant component of neonatal liver suggests that they are not a measure of cellular senescence.

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