Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 1998 Aug;3(2):87-100.

The secretory granular cell: the outermost granular cell as a specialized secretory cell.

Author information

  • 1Veterans Administration Medical Center, and Department of Dermatology, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco 94121, USA.


The contents of epidermal lamellar bodies (LB) are delivered selectively to the intercellular spaces at the stratum granulosum (SG)-stratum corneum (SC) interface. We assessed the subcellular basis for LB secretion first by confocal microscopy, following labeling with Nile red or NBD-ceramide, which reveals a tubulo-reticular membrane system within the apical cytosol of the outermost SG cell layer under basal conditions, changing to a more peripheral staining pattern when secretion is stimulated. Ultrastructural study demonstrates that this network is composed of a widely disbursed trans-Golgi-like network (TGN), associated with arrays of contiguous LB, and deep invaginations of the SG-SC interface. Under basal conditions, limited fusion of apically directed LB leads to deep, interconnected invaginations of the apical plasma membrane, resulting in the formation of an extensive, honeycomb extension of the SG-SC interface. Still deeper invaginations and more extensive organelle fusion develop after the epidermis is acutely permeabilized by either acetone treatment, sonophoresis, or iontophoresis. Finally, nascent LB appear to bud off cisternae of the TGN, a process that appears to accelerate after barrier disruption. The deep invaginations of the SG-SC interface; the wide distribution of the TGN within the apical cytosol; the association of nascent LB with the TGN; and the rapid fusion of LB with these invaginations, deep within the cytosol, account for (i) the polarized secretion of LB from the apex of the outermost SG cell, and (ii) the rapid LB-secretory response to barrier perturbations. Finally, our results point to the outermost SG cell as a uniquely specialized secretory cell. We propose the term "secretory granulocyte" to encompass the specialized features of these cells.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk