Archives of Dermatological Research

, Volume 304, Issue 10, pp 781–785 | Cite as

PGP 9.5 distribution patterns in biopsies from early lesions of atopic dermatitis

  • Lennart Emtestam
  • Lena Hagströmer
  • Ying-Chun Dou
  • Karin Sartorius
  • Olle Johansson
Original Paper


Peripheral nerve fibres are often increased in lesional skin of atopic dermatitis (AD) patients. We attempted to study nerve fibre profiles, using PGP 9.5 as neuronal marker, in early AD lesions in 10 patients, as compared to non-lesional skin in the same patients and skin from healthy controls. The number of PGP 9.5-positive nerve fibre profiles was not different in the biopsies taken from normal-looking AD skin and healthy controls. The total number of PGP 9.5-positive nerve fibre profiles in the whole skin sections was higher in both the epidermis and the dermis in the group of skin biopsies taken from early lesions of AD patients. Further, the number of epidermal PGP 9.5-positive dendritic cells was increased in AD skin. It seems reasonable that PGP 9.5-positive nerve fibres and PGP 9.5-positive dendritic cells have pathological roles in AD. The findings might serve as a basis for further studies in evaluating novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.


Protein gene product 9.5 Atopic dermatitis 


  1. 1.
    Hanifin JM, Rajka G (1980) Diagnostic features of atopic dermatitis. Acta Derm Venereol Suppl 92:44–47Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hilliges M, Wang L, Johansson O (1995) Ultrastructural evidence for nerve fibers within all vital layers of the human epidermis. J Invest Dermatol 104(1):134–137PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Johansson O, Han SW, Enhamre A (1991) Altered cutaneous innervation in psoriatic skin as revealed by PGP 9.5 immunohistochemistry. Arch Dermatol Res 283(8):519–523PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Johansson O, Wang L, Hilliges M, Liang Y (1999) Intraepidermal nerves in human skin: PGP 9.5 immunohistochemistry with special reference to the nerve density in skin from different body regions. J Peripher Nerv Syst 4(1):43–52PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kamo A, Tominaga M, Tengara S, Ogawa H, Takamori K (2011) Inhibitory effects of UV-based therapy on dry skin-inducible nerve growth in acetone-treated mice. J Dermatol Sci 62(2):91–97PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Lauria G, Hsieh ST, Johansson O, Kennedy WR, Leger JM, Mellgren SI et al. (2010) European Federation of Neurological Societies/Peripheral Nerve Society Guideline on the use of skin biopsy in the diagnosis of small fiber neuropathy. Report of a joint task force of the European Federation of Neurological Societies and the Peripheral Nerve Society. Eur J Neurol 17(7):903–912, e944–e909Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ostlere LS, Cowen T, Rustin MH (1995) Neuropeptides in the skin of patients with atopic dermatitis. Clin Exp Dermatol 20(6):462–467PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Pincelli C, Fantini F, Massimi P, Girolomoni G, Seidenari S, Giannetti A (1990) Neuropeptides in skin from patients with atopic dermatitis: an immunohistochemical study. Br J Dermatol 122(6):745–750PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Sugiura H, Omoto M, Hirota Y, Danno K, Uehara M (1997) Density and fine structure of peripheral nerves in various skin lesions of atopic dermatitis. Arch Dermatol Res 289(3):125–131PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Tobin D, Nabarro G, Baart de la Faille H, van Vloten WA, van der Putte SC, Schuurman HJ (1992) Increased number of immunoreactive nerve fibers in atopic dermatitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol 90(4 Pt 1):613–622PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Tschachler E, Reinisch CM, Mayer C, Paiha K, Lassmann H, Weninger W (2004) Sheet preparations expose the dermal nerve plexus of human skin and render the dermal nerve end organ accessible to extensive analysis. J Invest Dermatol 122(1):177–182PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Wallengren J, Sundler F (2004) Phototherapy reduces the number of epidermal and CGRP-positive dermal nerve fibers. Acta Derm Venereol 84:111–115PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lennart Emtestam
    • 1
  • Lena Hagströmer
    • 2
  • Ying-Chun Dou
    • 3
  • Karin Sartorius
    • 2
  • Olle Johansson
    • 3
  1. 1.Section of Dermatology I 43, Department of Medicine, Karolinska InstitutetHuddinge University HospitalStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Section of Dermatology, Department of Clinical Science and EducationKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden
  3. 3.The Experimental Dermatology Unit, Department of NeuroscienceKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden

Personalised recommendations