The morphologic changes in lamellar bodies and intercorneocyte lipids after tape stripping and occlusion with a water vapor-impermeable membrane
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It has been reported that artificial restoration of barrier function by a water vapor-impermeable membrane after tape stripping induces barrier abrogation in hairless mice, impeding rather than enhancing barrier recovery. To address this issue, we examined the morphologic changes in the epidermis after tape stripping and occlusion with a water vapor-impermeable membrane in murine skin. Male hairless mice were used for all studies of barrier perturbation and occlusion. Barrier disruption was achieved by repeated application of cellophane tape. Immediately after tape stripping the animals were wrapped in a tightly fitting water vapor-impermeable membrane. Transepidermal water loss (TEWL) was measured 20 min after tape stripping and 14, 24, 36, 48 and 60 h after occlusion. For electron microscopy the samples were treated with osmium tetroxide (OsO4) or ruthenium tetroxide (RuO4). When tape-stripped animals were wrapped in a water vapor-impermeable membrane, thereby preventing water flux, barrier function did not recover normally. These results demonstrate that an artificial block to TEWL with an impermeable membrane did not enhance barrier recovery. By electron microscopy many transitional cells and lacunae of various sizes were seen within the intercellular spaces of the stratum corneum after occlusion following tape stripping. Occlusion also caused alterations in both lipid lamellar membrane structures in the stratum corneum interstices and the lamellar bodies in the cytosol of granulocytes and transitional cells. Secreted lamellar body contents also appeared to be abnormal in the stratum corneum-stratum granulosum junction.
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