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J Invest Dermatol. 1976 Mar;66(3):143-8.

Oxytalan, elaunin, and elastic fibers in the human skin.


The elastic system of normal human skin was studied by light and electron microscopy. By light microscopy three different types of fibers were observed: oxytalan, elaunin, and elastic. The most superficial ones (oxytalan fibers) are very thin and directed perpendicularly to the dermoepidermal junction. They start from a plexus with the tinctorial characteristics of elaunin fibers which is connected with the thicker elastic fibers of the reticular dermis. At the electron microscopic level the oxytalan fibers are formed by bundles of tubular microfibrils 10 to 12 nm in diameter. In the deepest layers of the dermis an amorphous material is seen in the core of these bundles. In the elaunin fibers the amorphous material is sparse, while in the elastic fibers it is abundant and compact.

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