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August 1960

"Oxytalan" Fibers of the Dermal-Epidermal Junction

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Dermatology, Northwestern University Medical Center (Herbert Rattner, M.D., Chairman) and the Veterans Administration Research Hospital.

Toni-Gillette Fellow in Dermatology (Dr. Hasegawa).

Arch Dermatol. 1960;82(2):250-252. doi:10.1001/archderm.1960.01580020092016

"Oxytalan," a new fiber similar to elastic tissue, was observed by Fullmer and Lillie1 to occur in stress areas—periodontal membrane, tendons, ligaments, the adventitia of blood vessels, the connective tissue sheaths surrounding skin appendages, and the epineurium and perineurium. The distribution of fibers in another stress area, the dermalepidermal junction, was studied in this laboratory by their method, and fine fibrils with many properties similar to those of "oxytalan" fibers were found.

Elastic fibers in the human skin have been described as running in coarse bundles parallel to the skin surface with branches extending vertically upward as fine fibrils to the epidermal area. In the immediate subepidermal area McLeod2 and Kyrle3 described the fine fibrils as touching and even extending beyond the basal-cell layer. Dick,4 however, pointed out that these fibers in fact did not quite reach the basal cells. It is in this area that

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