Document Detail

Cutaneous nerves in atopic dermatitis. A histological, immunohistochemical and electron microscopic study.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9565347     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Although pruritus is the cardinal symptom of atopic dermatitis, its mechanism is not well understood. Free nerve endings in the skin are involved in pruritus as itching receptors. We studied the cutaneous nerve fibres in lichenified lesions of 16 patients with adult atopic dermatitis. On immunohistochemistry, fibres immunoreactive for neurofilament, neuron-specific enolase, and protein gene product 9.5 were observed in the papillary dermis and dermoepidermal junctions as well as in the epidermis. In these areas, no fibres stained positively for substance P, neuropeptide Y, vasoactive intestinal peptide, beta endorphin, somatostatin or serotonin. On electron microscopy, the ultrastructure of subepidermal and intraepidermal free nerve endings appeared to be essentially normal. However, the distribution density of the cutaneous nerve fibres was much higher than in normal controls, and the diameter of these fibres was much larger, because of the large number of axons in each nerve fibre. Degranulation of mast cells was not seen. These findings suggest that pruritus in lichenified atopic skin is probably not caused by damage to the cutaneous free nerve endings. In such lesions, the number of the cutaneous free nerve endings is greatly increased, but they may have a normal function.
R Urashima; M Mihara
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Virchows Archiv : an international journal of pathology     Volume:  432     ISSN:  0945-6317     ISO Abbreviation:  Virchows Arch.     Publication Date:  1998 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1998-05-12     Completed Date:  1998-05-12     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9423843     Medline TA:  Virchows Arch     Country:  GERMANY    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  363-70     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine, Tottori University, Nishimachi, Yonago, Japan.
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MeSH Terms
Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide / analysis
Dermatitis, Atopic / pathology*
Microscopy, Electron
Middle Aged
Nerve Tissue Proteins / analysis
Neuropeptides / analysis*
Phosphopyruvate Hydratase / analysis
Skin / chemistry,  innervation*,  pathology
Thiolester Hydrolases / analysis
Ubiquitin Thiolesterase
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Nerve Tissue Proteins; 0/Neuropeptides; 83652-28-2/Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide; EC 3.1.2.-/Thiolester Hydrolases; EC Thiolesterase; EC Hydratase

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