Extensive variant of cutaneous amyloidosis: report of a case with electron-microscopic and immunohistochemical studies of the basement membrane zone at sites of amyloid production

Dermatology. 1992;185(3):181-9. doi: 10.1159/000247444.


A 60-year-old Japanese female developed widespread lichenoid eruptions with pigmentation, which initially appeared in preceding erythematous skin lesions due to dermatomyositis. Thioflavine T and Dylon stainings, electron microscopy and immunohistochemistry revealed that thick amyloid deposits were present in the papillary dermis particularly beneath the epidermis. Autopsy showed no evidence of systemic amyloidosis. Electron microscopy of the lesional skin disclosed the disturbance of lamina densa formation in the epidermal basement membrane zone (BMZ). There was disruption and dissociation of the lamina densa from the basal cell, and a lamina-densa-like substance was found in the amyloid deposits. Immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopy showed that type IV and VII collagens, LDA-1 antigen (a noncollagenous component of the BMZ) and laminin were distributed in irregular thick deposits along the BMZ and were also present within the amyloid itself. These findings indicate that morphological and immunohistochemical abnormalities of the lamina densa may be involved in amyloid production at the interface of the epidermis and dermis, at least in this case.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Amyloidosis / metabolism
  • Amyloidosis / pathology*
  • Autoantigens / analysis
  • Basement Membrane / chemistry
  • Basement Membrane / ultrastructure
  • Biopsy
  • Collagen / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Laminin / analysis
  • Middle Aged
  • Serum Amyloid P-Component / analysis
  • Skin / chemistry*
  • Skin / ultrastructure*
  • Skin Diseases / metabolism
  • Skin Diseases / pathology*


  • Autoantigens
  • Laminin
  • Serum Amyloid P-Component
  • Collagen