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J Invest Dermatol. 1999 Aug;113(2):272-6.

Von Willebrand factor receptor GPIb alpha is expressed by human factor XIIIa-positive dermal dendrocytes and is upregulated by mast cell degranulation.

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  • 1Jefferson Medical College, Department of Pathology, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107, USA.


GPIb alpha, a glycoprotein component of the GPIb-IX-V complex, serves as a platelet membrane receptor that mediates adhesion to von Willebrand factor normally present in the vascular subendothelium. Recent data have demonstrated that GPIb alpha is not restricted to platelets, but is also expressed by endothelium in vitro. In this study, we describe the expression and distribution of GPIb alpha in normal adult and neonatal human skin. GPIb alpha is present, as detected by immunohistochemistry, on endothelial cells and on highly dendritic cells localized within the perivascular space, dermal-epidermal junction, and reticular dermis. By dual-labeling immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy, GPIb alpha-positive cells within the dermal interstitium are demonstrated to represent factor XIIIa-positive dermal dendrocytes. In organ cultures of neonatal human foreskin, mast cell degranulation induced by either substance P or compound 48/80 resulted in transiently increased GPIb alpha expression by dermal dendrocytes. Because the GPIb-IX-V complex plays a part in regulating hemostasis and may be important for cellular interactions with extracellular matrix molecules, these data provide additional insight into the potential function of FXIIIa-positive dermal dendrocytes in skin remodeling and repair.

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