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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Destruction of the epithelial anchoring system in lichen planus.

To find out whether the epithelial anchoring system shows any alterations in lichen planus, we examined the distribution of type VII collagen, alpha 6 beta 4 integrin, and kalinin in lesions of lichen planus. These molecules were chosen because they are structural components of anchoring fibrils, hemidesmosome-associated complexes, and anchoring filaments. The localization of type VII collagen in lichen planus was strikingly different from that in nonaffected mucosa or dermis or in other mucocutaneous lesions. In the normal mucosa, type VII collagen was localized only at the basement membrane zone. In lichen planus, type VII collagen was present not only in the basement membrane area but also in streaked patterns deep in the connective tissue. The hemidesmosome-associated complex, alpha 6 beta 4 integrin, was localized at the basal aspect of basal epithelial cells of nonaffected sites, but was diffuse and discontinuous in lichen planus lesions. Most of the basal keratinocytes, however, stained for this integrin. Kalinin staining was discontinuous in lichen planus lesions. Often, finger-like projections of kalinin staining were found protruding into the connective tissue stroma. Kalinin was localized at the basement membrane zone of the nonaffected tissue and other mucocutaneous lesions. These results indicate that in cutaneous and mucosal lichen planus, the epithelial anchoring system is disturbed.[1]


  1. Destruction of the epithelial anchoring system in lichen planus. Haapalainen, T., Oksala, O., Kallioinen, M., Oikarinen, A., Larjava, H., Salo, T. J. Invest. Dermatol. (1995) [Pubmed]
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