by Akemi Ishida-Yamamoto, Mari Kishibe, Masamoto Murakami, Masaru Honma, Hidetoshi Takahashi, Hajime Iizuka
Defects in epidermal barrier function and/or vesicular transport underlie severe skin diseases including ichthyosis and atopic dermatitis. Tight junctions (TJs) form a single layered network in simple epithelia. TJs are important for both barrier functions and vesicular transport. Epidermis is stratified epithelia and lamellar granules (LGs) are secreted from the stratum granulosum (SG) in a sequential manner. Previously, continuous TJs and paracellular permeability barriers were found in the second layer (SG2) of SG in mice, but their fate and correlation with LG secretion have been poorly understood. We studied epidermal TJ-related structures in humans and in mice and found occludin/ZO-1 immunoreactive multilayered networks spanning the first layer of SG (SG1) and SG2. Paracellular penetration tracer passed through some TJs in SG2, but not in SG1. LG secretion into the paracellular tracer positive spaces started below the level of TJs of SG1. Our study suggests that LG-secretion starts before the establishment of TJ barrier in the mammalian epidermis.