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Tissue Cell. 2000 Apr;32(2):153-62.

Ultrastructural localization of alpha-keratins in the regenerating epidermis of the lizard Podarcis muralis during formation of the shedding layer.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Biologia, University of Bologna, Italy.


In the epidermis of lizards, alpha- and beta-keratins are sequentially produced during a shedding cycle. Using pre- and post-embedding immunocytochemistry this study shows the ultrastructural distribution of 3 alpha-keratin antibodies (AE1, AE2, AE3) in the renewing epidermis and in the shedding complex of the regenerating tail of the lizard Podarcis muralis. The AE1 antibody that recognizes acidic low MW keratins is confined to tonofilament bundles in basal and suprabasal cells but is not present in keratinizing beta- and alpha-cells. The AE2 antibody that recognises higher MW keratins weakly stains pre-keratinized cells and intensely keratinized alpha-layers. A weak labeling is present in small electrondense areas within the beta-layer. The AE3 antibody, that recognizes low and high MW basic keratins, immunolabels tonofilament bundles in all epidermal layers but intensely the alpha-keratinizing and keratinized layers (mesos, alpha-, lacunar and clear). Keratohyalin-like granules, present in the clear cells of the shedding layer, are negative to these antibodies so that the cornified clear layer contains keratins mixed with non-keratin material. The AE3 antibody shows that the mature beta-layer and the spinulated folds of the oberhautchen are labeled only in small dense areas among the prevalent electron-pale beta-keratin material. Therefore, some alpha-keratin is still present in the beta-layer, and supports the idea that alpha-keratins (basic) function as scaffold for beta-keratin deposition.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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