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Dermatology. 2000;201(1):15-20.

Changes in keratin 6 and keratin 10 (co-)expression in lesional and symptomless skin of spreading psoriasis.

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Department of Dermatology, University Medical Centre Nijmegen, The Netherlands.



Keratin 6 (K6) and keratin 10 (K10) are markers for epidermal hyperproliferation and differentiation, respectively, and are both expressed in the suprabasal layers of the epidermis. They may be co-expressed in different stages of the spreading psoriatic lesion, but single expression can also occur.


To investigate to what extent keratinocytes express K6 and K10, and to what extent they co-express K6 and K10 in different stages of the psoriatic lesion. We studied this in spreading psoriatic plaques.


Three 3-mm punch biopsies were obtained from the inner involved margin of a spreading lesion, from the uninvolved skin immediately adjacent to the spreading plaque, and from the distant uninvolved skin of 8 patients with incipient psoriasis. From 9 healthy volunteers, 3-mm punch biopsies were obtained as controls. After preparation of single cell suspensions of these biopsies, a triple staining protocol was performed with markers for K6 (monoclonal antibody LHK6B), K10 (monoclonal antibody RKSE60) and DNA content (TO-PRO-3 iodide). Subsequently, cells were measured with a flow cytometer and the proportion of the markers was calculated using specific software.


We observed a population of K6/K10-co-expressing cells, but also populations expressing only K6. These subpopulations varied with the involvement of the lesion. There was a statistically significant difference between the inner margin and the outer margin with respect to the proportion of K6- and K10-expressing cells, whereas more K6-positive and K10-negative cells were detected in the inner margin of the lesions. The proportion of K6/K10-co-expressing cells in the inner margin was significantly different from the distant uninvolved skin.


We confirmed that individual keratinocytes in psoriasis can express K6 or K10 depending on their localization in involved or uninvolved skin. There is a unique subpopulation of cells in the psoriatic plaques which co-express K6 and K10. More studies are required to fully understand the pathogenic relevance of co-expression and single expression of K6 and K10.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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