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Br J Dermatol. 1998 Aug;139(2):186-91.

Fas ligand is expressed in normal skin and in some cutaneous malignancies.

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Department of Pathology, Catholic University Medical College, 505 Banpo-dong, Socho-gu, Seoul 137-701, Korea; Cancer Research Institute, Catholic University Medical College, 505 Banpo-dong, Socho-gu, Seoul 137-701, Korea.


Fas, a cell surface receptor and member of the tumour necrosis factor receptor superfamily, induces apoptosis upon oligomerization by its ligand (Fas ligand: FasL). Detailed studies have revealed that Fas is broadly expressed in normal human tissues, but relatively little is known about the range of cell types capable of expressing FasL. The aim of this study was to determine the in vivo patterns of expression of Fas and FasL in human skin tissues. Immunohistochemistry was performed using paraffin-embedded samples of normal and neoplastic skin tissues. In normal skin, FasL was expressed in the epidermis, sebaceous glands, sweat glands and outer root sheath of the hair. In squamous cell carcinomas (SCC), all cases analysed expressed FasL at high levels, whereas 60% of basal cell carcinomas (BCC) were positive for FasL. Expression of Fas in normal skin was observed in the basal and spinous layers of the epidermis, the outer root sheath of the hair, and the sebaceous glands. Expression of Fas was observed in all the SCC tested and none of the BCC tested. Expression of FasL by normal cells and tumour cells in skin tissue, demonstrated for the first time in the present study, may provide an important clue to understanding skin physiology, and immune evasion of skin tumours.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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