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Int Urol Nephrol. 2009 Dec;41(4):747-53. doi: 10.1007/s11255-008-9521-x. Epub 2009 Jan 30.

Langerhans' cell density and degree of keratinization in foreskins of Chinese preschool boys and adults.

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Department of General Surgery, Children Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, 310006, China.



Recent epidemiological studies have proposed that male circumcision reduces the relative risk of acquiring HIV-1. Here, we evaluated the density of Langerhans' cell and degree of keratinization in the foreskins of Chinese preschool boys and adults.


Sixty preschool boys and 20 healthy men without infectious history following male circumcisions were included. The keratin thickness and Langerhans' cells were quantified by using keratin staining, immunohistochemistry, and image analysis.


The extent of keratinization was much greater in the inner foreskin than in the outer foreskin in adults and boys with infectious history. It was likely to be less keratinized in boys' foreskins compared with those of adults. The density of Langerhans' cells was higher in the outer foreskin than in the inner foreskin of adults and healthy boys. Furthermore, an increased density of Langerhans' cells of inner foreskin was also found in boys with infectious history compared with healthy boys. There was much higher Langerhans' cell density in boys' foreskin compared with those of adults.


These findings suggest that Chinese men may have a different feature of keratin in the foreskin, and a higher Langerhans' cells density in boys' foreskin may be due to it being less keratinized.

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