, Volume 281, Issue 7, pp 454-462

Adhesion molecule mapping in normal human skin

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Adhesion molecules are a rapidly growing group of cell surface receptors providing cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions. Their physiological role in tissue homeostasis as well as cellular migration and differentiation is increasingly appreciated. In the present study we have analyzed the expression pattern of most adhesion molecules of the integrin family as well as of adhesion molecules belonging to the immunoglobulin superfamily in normal human skin. We provide evidence that expression of adhesion molecules in the various cutaneous cell systems follows a constant distribution. Moreover, the physiological mononuclear infiltrate of the skin also expresses a variety of adhesion molecules enabeling these cells to migrate or to reside within the skin. Furthermore, our results indicate that intercellular adhesion molecule-1 is not a prerequisite for lymphocyte epidermotropism as frequently stated. Our data provide a rational basis to analyze changing adhesion molecule expression in inflammatory and neoplastic skin diseases.