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Immunohistochemical demonstration of keratin 19 expression in isolated human hair follicles

, : Immunohistochemical demonstration of keratin 19 expression in isolated human hair follicles. Journal of Investigative Dermatology 103(2): 191-195

We examined keratins 19 and 8 in extracted human hair follicles using monoclonal antibodies Ks19.1 and CAM5.2, respectively. Ks19.1 reactivity was found in the bulge and infundibulum. Ks19.1(+) cells were dense in the bulge of vellus and intermediate hair follicles. The intact bulge of terminal hair could not be extracted, but the presence of Ks19.1(+) cells was confirmed in transverse sections. Infundibular Ks19.1(+) cells exhibited a dense network pattern of staining in terminal hair follicle, but only a few cells were labeled in vellus and intermediate hair follicles. CAM5.2(+) cells, i.e., Merkel cells, were found in the same locations as Ks19.1(+) cells but were less dense. These patterns of distribution and staining density were not influenced by different phases of hair cycle. Sequential staining of Ks19.1 and CAM5.2 in the same hair follicle demonstrated that the same cells could be reactive for both. However, considering the large number of Ks19.1(+) cells and rather small number of CAM5.2 in the same locations, it was assumed that only a subset of Ks19.1(+) cells are Merkel cells. It was postulated that the bulge area of human adult hair follicles houses embryonic pluripotential cells characterized by stem cells and post-stem cells and that the Merkel cells in the bulge area arise from these immature cells and may play a role in the maintenance and stimulation of this group of immature cells.


PMID: 7518856

DOI: 10.1111/1523-1747.ep12392730

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