Archives of Dermatological Research

, Volume 278, Issue 6, pp 460–464 | Cite as

Cytochemical expression of epidermal peroxidase and cytochrome oxidase activities in pathological skin conditions of man

  • C. Walzer
  • E. Frenk
Original Contributions


The cytochemical expression of epidermal peroxidase and cytochrome oxidase activity was recently well documented in normal human skin.We report here its expression in basal and squamous cell carcinomas, actinic keratoses, psoriasis, allergic contact dermatitis, seborrheic keratoses, and autosomal dominant ichthyosis vulgaris. The two enzyme activities were evaluated using the diaminobenzidine method. If present, the two enzymes were always localized in the same organelles as in normal epidermis endogenous peroxidase in the nuclear envelope and endoplasmic reticulum, and cytochrome oxidase in mitochondria. In basal and squamous carcinomas, actinic keratoses and psoriasis, the keratinocytes lost their peroxidase activity, but maintained their cytochrome oxidase activity. In seborrheic keratoses, allergic contact dermatitis and ichthyosis vulgaris, the cytochrome oxidase activity was greatly reduced or abolished in keratinocytes, Langerhans' cells, and melanocytes, whereas the peroxidase activity was present as in normal epidermis. These results indicate that the two peroxidatic enzymes studied are not interrelated and alternatively suppressed by different cellular dysfunctions.

Key words

Peroxidase Cytochrome oxidase Diaminobenzidine Epidermis 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Walzer
    • 1
  • E. Frenk
    • 1
  1. 1.Clinique de Dermato-vénéréologieCentre Hospitalier Universitaire VaudoisLausanneSwitzerland

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