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J Histochem Cytochem. 1995 Jan;43(1):47-52.

Expression of MxA protein in inflammatory dermatoses.

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Department of Dermatology, University of Zürich, Switzerland.


The human MxA protein can be detected in the cytoplasm of IFN-alpha/beta-treated cells, whereas other cytokines, including IFN-gamma, are poor inducers. Because IFN-alpha/beta is predominantly synthesized in response to viral infections, MxA protein should be detectable in virally infected tissue. Biopsy specimens (n = 64) of 12 different dermatoses were therefore screened with an MxA-specific monoclonal antibody on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded and microwave-treated tissue sections. As expected, high amounts of MxA protein were found in acute viral skin lesions (chickenpox, Herpes zoster, and Herpes labialis). In addition, MxA protein was also detected in some inflammatory skin lesions of unknown etiology (lupus erythematosus, lichen planus, Schoenlein-Hennoch's anaphylactoid purpura and psoriasis). MxA protein was not found in non-viral infections (bacterial, mycotic, and parasitic) and was also not detectable in various other dermatoses (eczema, scleroderma, urticaria, granulomatous and bullous disorders). MxA staining proved a reliable, sensitive histochemical viral marker for infectious dermatoses. The positive results in non-infectious inflammatory dermatoses might implicate viral involvement or activation of the IFN system by thus far unknown mechanisms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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