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Betz, P.; Nerlich, A.; Wilske, J.; Tübel, J.; Wiest, I.; Penning, R.; Eisenmenger, Wolfgang (1992): The time-dependent rearrangement of the epithelial basement membrane in human skin wounds. Immunohistochemical localization of Collagen IV and VII. In: International Journal of Legal Medicine, Vol. 105, No. 2: pp. 93-97


In 62 human skin wounds (surgical wounds, stab wounds and lacerations after surgical treatment) we analyzed the immunohistochemical localization of collagen IV in the epithelial basement membrane. In 27 of these wounds the distribution of collagen VII, which represents a specific component of the basement membrane of stratified epithelia, was also analyzed. We were able to demonstrate a virtually identical co-distribution of both collagen IV and VII in the wound area with no significant time-dependent differences in the appearance of both collagen types. Fragments of the epithelial basement membrane could be detected in the wound area from as early as 4 days after wounding and after 8 days a complete restitution of the epithelial basement membrane was observed. In all cases with a wound age of more than 21 days the basement membrane was completely reformed over the former lesional area. The period between 8 and 21 days after wounding was characterized by a wide variability ranging from complete restitution to deposition of basement membrane fragments or total lack of the epidermal basement membrane.