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October 1995

Sclerosis of the Skin in the GEMSS Syndrome: An Overproduction of Normal Collagen

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Dermatology (Drs Kunz, Ludwig, Bröcker, and Hamm), Pathology (Dr Paulus), Neurology (Dr Weilbach), and Ophthalmology (Dr Voeske), University of Würzburg, and the Department of Dermatology, University of Cologne (Dr Sollberg), Germany.

Arch Dermatol. 1995;131(10):1170-1174. doi:10.1001/archderm.1995.01690220076014

Background:  We describe a recently observed set of autosomal dominant GEMSS (glaucoma, lens ectopia, microspherophakia, stiffness of the joints, and shortness) syndrome in a 47-year-old woman and her 23-year-old son. In addition, sclerosis of the skin, from which both patients suffered, is investigated in detail.

Observations:  The histologic examination of skin biopsy specimens obtained from the upper aspects of the backs of both patients revealed a markedly thickened dermis. Immunohistochemical examination of the dermal collagen bundles showed a collagen pattern similar to systemic sclerosis and normal control skin. In situ hybridization showed a markedly enhanced gene expression of transforming growth factor β1.

Conclusion:  The sclerotic skin changes in GEMSS syndrome are the result of an abnormally increased production of normal collagen that might be attributable to the enhanced in situ production of transforming growth factor β1.(Arch Dermatol. 1995;131:1170-1174)

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