The intermediate filament proteins of rabbit normal epidermal Merkel cells are cytokeratins


Four hundred Merkel cells (MC) have been studied by double-label immunofluorescence using: (1) a monoclonal antibody which has been previously demonstrated to react with MC and (2) antisera and monoclonal antibodies against the 5 types of intermediate filaments. It was demonstrated that MC did not react with vimentin, desmin, glial acidic fibrillary protein, or neurofilament antisera. A strong staining of MC was observed with 2 antisera and 2 monoclonal antibodies against keratin. The cytokeratin polypeptide pattern of MC is probably similar to that of simple epithelia. These findings attest to the epithelial nature of MC.

Publication Title

Journal of Investigative Dermatology