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Arch Dermatol. 1994 May;130(5):605-8.

Macrophages and tumor necrosis factor alpha in toxic epidermal necrolysis.

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Department of Dermatopathology, University of Liège, Belgium.



We studied the immunopathologic characteristics of five cases of toxic epidermal necrolysis by using a large panel of antibodies.


The pattern and amount of the inflammatory cell infiltrate varied according to the stage of the disease. The main constant feature was the prominent involvement of the monocyte-macrophage lineage, including factor XIIIa+HLA-DR+ dendrocytes and CD68+ Mac 387+ macrophages, before and during the epidermal necrosis. The number of CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocytes was comparatively small. This was associated with a dense labeling of the epidermis for tumor necrosis factor alpha.


Cells of the monocyte-macrophage lineage largely outnumber lymphocytes in the lesions of toxic epidermal necrolysis. Tumor necrosis factor alpha is likely a major cytokine that is responsible for necrosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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