Indexed on: 10 Jun '98Published on: 10 Jun '98Published in: Journal of Investigative Dermatology
Epidermal thickening is a phenomenon common to many genodermatoses but little is known about the underlying causes. We have recently created a mouse model for the human skin disease bullous congenital ichthyosiform erythroderma by gene targeting. Mice heterozygous for a truncated keratin 10 gene exhibit acanthosis and hyperkeratosis as seen in the human disease. The degree of epidermal thickening is highly variable, offering a novel opportunity to investigate how epidermal homeostasis is modulated in keratin disorders by comparing epidermis from different body regions. We have performed bromodeoxyuridine labeling experiments and detected proliferation antigens by immunohistochemical means to compare proliferation in the epidermis of wild-type and heterozygous mice. These results have been compared with the expression of epidermal differentiation markers and of the "hyperproliferation associated" keratins K6 and K16. These experiments indicated that hyperproliferation is only partly responsible for the morphologic changes and that other mechanisms such as decreased desquamation are likely to be involved.