Keratinization in the epidermis of amphibians and the lungfish: comparison with amniote keratinization.

Tissue & cell

PubMedID: 11949780

Alibardi L. Keratinization in the epidermis of amphibians and the lungfish: comparison with amniote keratinization. Tissue Cell. 2001;33(5):439-49.
Keratinization in the epidermis of amphibians and the lungfish has been studied by electron microscopy, autoradiography and immunocytochemistry to determine whether histidine-rich proteins, filaggrin and loricrin are present. In the lungfish and amphibian tadpoles, anti-keratin antibodies (AE1 and AE3) stain the whole epidermis but not the AE2 antibody, a marker for keratinization. In adult epidermis, the AE2 antibody mainly stains keratinized layers, AE1 mainly stained basal cells, less suprabasal cells and no pre-keratinized and keratinized layers, and AE3 stains all epidermal layers. This staining pattern resembles that of amniote epidermis. Little tritiated histidine is taken up in toad epidermis at 4-6 h post-injection but 24 h after injection the radioactivity is most concentrated in the replacement layer beneath the corneus. This indicates that protein synthesis takes place in the epidermis but, due to the metabolic conversion that takes place in 24 h, it is unlikely that histidine-rich proteins are formed. Neither filaggrin-like nor loricrine-like immunoreactivities are present in amphibian and lungfish epidermis. This indicates absence of histidine-rich matrix proteins and corneous cell envelope proteins and only mucus is present among keratin filaments. Filaggrine-like and loricrin-like proteins are characteristic of amniotes epidermis and might have originated in basic amniotes (cotylosaurs).