Immunocytochemical labelling of Merkel cells of human oral mucosa by means of antibodies to protein gene product 9.5

A Casasco, C Marchetti, A Calligaro, M Casasco, P Poggi, M Beolchini


Merkel cell (MC) are one of the non-keratinocyte cell populations that reside in oral epithelium. Protein gene product 9.5 (PGP 9.5) is a protein specifically present in the cytoplasm of neurons and neuroendocrine cells. It is demonstrated by immunofluorescence and immunoperoxidase that MC of oral human mucosa express PGP 9.5-like immunoreactivity. This finding is in agreement with the hypothesis that oral MC are paraneurons or neuroendocrine cells. The use of anti-PGP 9.5 serum may be of value for future studies of MC in normal and pathological oral tissues.


merkel cells; oral mucosa; human; protein gene product 9.5

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