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J Dermatol. 1996 Jan;23(1):22-32.

Immunohistochemical study of cellular events in lesional skin during common virus infections.

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Department of Dermatology, Kitasato University School of Medicine, Sagamihara, Japan.


Determination was made of epidermal Langerhans cell (LC) distribution and infiltrating cellular events in lesional skin during varicella zoster virus (VZV) infection, and the results were compared with those for herpes simplex (HS), measles, and rubella by immunohistochemical staining with cell surface markers. CD1a positive epidermal LCs increased in number, particularly in measles and rubella. The number of LCs was within the normal range or slightly increased in the epidermis of VZV infection. In herpes zoster (HZ) and varicella, HLA-DR positive epidermal cells were present in the basal part of the epidermis. In measles, HLA-DR positive cells aggregated in papular lesions. In measles and rubella, the number of HLA-DQ positive epidermal cells appeared to increase. In HS cases, CD11b (OKM1) positivity of the upper epidermal keratinocytes was quite pronounced, but not in the basal layer. CD8 positive suppressor/cytotoxic cells extensively infiltrated the dermis of HZ and varicella. Dermal infiltrates were identified as CD8 positive cell dominant in measles, HZ, and varicella. These results provide a partial explanation as to why cellular events in skin lesions act immunosuppressively.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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