Protein gene product 9.5-immunoreactive nerve fibres and cells in human skin

Cell Tissue Res. 1990 Jul;261(1):25-33. doi: 10.1007/BF00329435.


Sections of human skin were processed according to the indirect immunofluorescence technique with a rabbit antiserum against human protein gene product 9.5 (PGP 9.5). Immunoreactivity was detected in intraepidermal and dermal nerve fibres and cells. The intraepidermal nerves were varicose or smooth with different diameters, running as single processes or branched, straight or bent, projecting in various directions and terminating in the stratum basale, spinosum or granulosum. The density of the intraepidermal nerves varied between the different skin areas investigated. PGP 9.5-containing axons of the lower dermis were found in large bundles. They separated into smaller axon bundles within the upper dermis, entering this portion of the skin perpendicular to the surface. Then they branched into fibres mainly arranged parallel to the epidermal-dermal junctional zone. However, the fibres en route to the epidermis traversed the upper dermis more or less perpendicularly. Furthermore, immunoreactive dermal nerve fibres were found in the Meissner corpuscles, the arrector pili muscles, hair follicles, around the eccrine and apocrine sweat glands and around certain blood vessels. Such fibres were also observed around most subcutaneous blood vessels, sometimes heavily innervating these structures. Numerous weakly-to-strongly PGP 9.5-immunoreactive cells were found both in the epidermis and in the dermis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Humans
  • Nerve Fibers / immunology*
  • Neuropeptides / immunology*
  • Skin / cytology*
  • Skin / immunology
  • Ubiquitin Thiolesterase


  • Neuropeptides
  • Ubiquitin Thiolesterase