Keratinocytes in human wounds express alpha v beta 6 integrin

J Invest Dermatol. 1996 Jan;106(1):42-8. doi: 10.1111/1523-1747.ep12327199.


Cell adhesion receptors of the integrin family play a major role during re-epithelialization of human wounds. We have previously documented that the expression of alpha v family integrins is induced in keratinocytes of mucosal wounds [1]. In the present investigation, we extended these studies to determine whether alpha v beta 6 integrin is expressed during wound healing in humans. Mucosal and epidermal wound sections from 1- to 7-day-old wounds were used for immunolocalization of integrins and their putative ligands. In addition, freshly isolated epidermal keratinocytes were used to study integrin expression in vitro. Expression of alpha v beta 6 integrin appeared relatively late during mucosal and dermal wound healing. Maximal expression was seen in 7-day-old wounds in which epithelial sheets had fused and granulation tissue was present. Fibronectin and tenascin, both possible ligands for alpha v beta 6 integrin, were found concentrated underneath the basal epithelial cells expressing this receptor, and the maximal expression of tenascin coincided with that of alpha v beta 6 integrin. Freshly isolated epidermal keratinocytes did not stain for alpha v beta 6 integrin but began to express this integrin after subculturing. Our results suggest that the expression of alpha v beta 6 integrin, a putative binding integrin for fibronectin and tenascin, is induced in keratinocytes when epithelial sheets fuse during wound healing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Neoplasm*
  • Cell Separation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Fibronectins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Integrins / physiology*
  • Keratinocytes / chemistry*
  • Mucous Membrane / injuries
  • Mucous Membrane / metabolism
  • Mucous Membrane / pathology
  • Skin / injuries*
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Skin / pathology
  • Tenascin / metabolism
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Wounds, Penetrating / pathology*


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Fibronectins
  • Integrins
  • Tenascin
  • integrin alphavbeta6