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J Invest Dermatol. 1987 Jun;88(6):714-8.

Presence of intact intercellular lipid lamellae in the upper layers of the stratum corneum.

Abstract

The epidermal permeability barrier necessary for terrestrial life resides in the intercellular spaces of the stratum corneum and is composed of lipids. Membrane coating granules (MCGs), small intracellular organelles found in the uppermost layers of the living epidermis, contain stacks of membranous disks which are extruded into the intercellular space and undergo both biochemical and physical changes to form the lipid sheets which constitute this barrier. Using ruthenium tetroxide as a secondary fixative, we are able to demonstrate stacks of lamellae filling the intercellular spaces in the uppermost layers of the stratum corneum. The structure of these lipid lamellae is consistent with the proposed derivation of MCG lipid disks and also suggests that the lipid bilayer adjacent to the corneocyte cell envelope may be assembled from lipids not derived from MCGs.

PMID:
3585055
DOI:
10.1111/1523-1747.ep12470386
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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