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July 1960

Cholinesterase Nevus: Cholinesterases in Pigmented Tumors of the Skin

Author Affiliations

Rochester, Minn.

From the Section of Dermatology, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minn. (The Mayo Foundation is a part of the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota.)

Arch Dermatol. 1960;82(1):17-23. doi:10.1001/archderm.1960.01580010023003

One of the enigmas of modern cytology is the nevus cell. Its origin has been variously claimed to be from melanocytes,1 from epidermal cells,2 and from nerve cells,3 and each source has been hotly debated. It has been thought to grow up into the skin4 and also to form by "abtropfung"5 from the epidermis down into the dermis. Almost no information is available as to its actual nature—that is, its vital metabolites and the features that distinguish it from other cells. No facts about the nature of its cytoplasm are documented. I wish to present detailed observations about one facet of nevus cells which appears to be unusual, specific, and perhaps capable of interpretation.

Methods  In the cholinesterase technic of Gomori, as modified for use in human skin, pigmented tumors of the skin6,7 were excised and placed in cold 10% formalin in 0.9% saline

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