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Anat Rec. 1990 Sep;228(1):1-6.

Glycoconjugate expression of cells of human anagen hair follicles during keratinization.

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Department of Oral Pathology, School of Dentistry, University of Meikai, Saitama, Japan.


Changes in the expression of glycoconjugates in cells of the inner root sheath (IRS) and outer root sheath (ORS) of human anagen hair follicles were investigated by lectin histochemistry. Concanavalin A (Con A) and Ricinus communis (RCA-I) stained hair follicle cells regardless of their differentiation stages. In IRS, Ulex europeaus-I (UEA-I) bound to the surface of the cells as soon as they were morphologically defined, and Glycine max (SBA) stained as their differentiation progressed. Innermost (IM) cells of ORS layers were reactive with UEA-I at the stage where Henle's cells were keratinized, while the reactivity of UEA-I was lost at the site of the completion of IRS keratinization where SBA reaction was detected. Staining of both UEA-I and SBA was prominent in other ORS cells at the levels where SBA binding in IM cells became strong. The staining intensity increased up to the position of the follicular isthmus. In addition, a sugar residue recognized by Dolichos biflorus (DBA) was detected in differentiated cells of ORS. In contrast, the DBA reaction was not found at all in cells of IRS, infundibulum, and epidermis. These findings identified a complexity of carbohydrate metabolism in the cells of different layers at various stages of keratinization. IM cells differentiate independently from other ORS cells but seem responsive to the degree of IRS keratinization. All ORS cells possess a unique sugar moiety not found in other keratinocytes either in the hair or epidermis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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