Immunohistochemical localization of thrombomodulin in normal human skin and skin tumours

D. E. Jackson, C. A. Mitchell, P. Bird, H. H. Salem, J. A. Hayman

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    Thrombomodulin (TM) expression has been investigated in sections of normal human skin, in cultured normal human keratinocytes, and in a variety of skin tumours. TM was present in squamous epithelial cells in the spinous layer of normal epidermis and in the outer root sheath of hair follicles, but was absent in the cells of the basal layer. It appeared to be predominantly localized to the cell membrane and the intercellular bridges in these areas. Cultured normal human keratinocytes demonstrated functionally active constitutive TM expression on their cell surface. Immunoperoxidase staining of skin tumours using anti-human TM antibodies demonstrated a typical cell membrane positivity in tumours with squamous or hair follicle differentiation. Basal cell carcinomas showed TM expression only in areas where incomplete squamoid metaplasia occurred. Sweat gland tumours and lesions of the melanogenic system failed to express TM. The localization of TM by immunostaining in various benign and malignant skin tumours typically correlated with their normal skin element of origin. The physiological significance of TM expression in the epidermis is currently undefined.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)421-432
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Pathology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1995


    • Immunohistochemistry
    • Intercellular bridges
    • Keratiuocytes
    • Skin tumours
    • Thrombomodulin

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