Get access

Cytokeratin, filaggrin, and p63 expression in reepithelialization during human cutaneous wound healing


Reprint requests Ichiro Kurokawa, MD, Department of Dermatology, Mie University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-174, Edobashi, Tsu 514-8507, Japan. Fax: +8159-231-5206; email:


Cytokeratin (CK), filaggrin (filament aggregating protein), and p63 expression and cellular distribution during reepithelialization has not been systemically studied in the healing stage of human cutaneous wounds. We examined these proteins by immunohistochemical methods in 12 cases of skin ulcer, using seven anti-keratin antibodies, anti-filaggrin, and anti-p63 antibody. At the edge of the wound in skin ulcers, CK1 and 10 expression was reduced, while CK14, 16, and 17 expression was raised. Beneath the wound bed, all layers of the epidermal tongue, deriving from sweat ducts, were positive for CK14 and 17. Both cytokeratins were also found in basal and luminal cells of the dermal duct. CK expression by epithelia continuous with hair follicles showed that, CK14, 16, and 17 were present, and CK1 and 10 were absent. Filaggrin expression was elevated in reepithelialized epithelium. Expression of p63 expression was verified in the suprabasal layer in reepithelialized epithelia. CK, filaggrin, and p63 expression in the reepithelialization stage at the wound edge and at epidermal appendages remaining in the wound bed is undifferentiated and hyperproliferative. The presence of CK14 and 17 in the remaining epidermal appendages in the pathological wound may be important in epidermal replacement.