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January 1958

Microanatomical and Histochemical Observations on the Dermal-Epidermal Junction

Author Affiliations

St. John's, Nfld., Canada

AMA Arch Derm. 1958;77(1):18-22. doi:10.1001/archderm.1958.01560010020004

Reports by electron miscroscopists1,2 of the presence of a discrete homogeneous basement or basal membrane in human skin are difficult to reconcile with the orthodox histological view that there is no true subepidermal basement membrane and that dermal-epidermal adhesion is effected by an interdigitation and interlocking between the foot processes of the basal epidermal cells and the subepidermal "reticular fibers." This orthodox view has recently been restated and upheld both by Allen3 and Winkelmann.4

The discrepancy can be attributed largely to the reliance many histologists place on silver-impregnation methods as a means of staining basement membranes, for the argyrophil material at the dermal-epidermal junction is of discontinuous nonmembranous appearance and bears no morphological resemblance to the apparent membranes which silver impregnation can reveal around renal tubules and many other glandular structures. It is one thesis of this paper that these argyrophilic membranous

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