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J Histochem Cytochem. 1992 Sep;40(9):1329-37.

The expression of desmosomal and corneodesmosomal antigens shows specific variations during the terminal differentiation of epidermis and hair follicle epithelia.

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Laboratoire de Biologie Cellulaire, Faculté de Médecine Purpan, Toulouse, France.


Using five monoclonal antibodies (MAb), we studied by indirect immunofluorescence the desmosomes and a junctional structure specific to cornified layers, the corneodesmosome, in normal and plantar epidermis and in the various sheaths of the anagen hair follicle. The monoclonal antibodies DP1&2.2-15, PG5.1, and DG3.10, specific for desmoplakins I/II, plakoglobin, and desmoglein I, respectively, were used to study the desmosome antigens, and G36-19 and G20-21 to study the corneodesmosome antigens. The distribution and sequence of expression of the five antigens allowed the nine epithelial differentiation pathways studied to be merged into four distinct families: non-plantar epidermis, characterized by the absence of desmosome and corneodesmosome antigens in the stratum corneum; the outer root sheath of the hair follicle, which behaves like the viable layers of the epidermis with regard to the desmosome antigens but does not express the corneodesmosome antigens; plantar epidermis and the three components of the inner root sheath in which the corneodesmosome antigens are present up to the desquamating layer; and the three components of the hair shaft, which are characterized by the absence of expression of both the desmosome and the corneodesmosome antigens in its mature portion.

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