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Betz, P.; Nerlich, A.; Tübel, J.; Penning, R.; Eisenmenger, Wolfgang (1993): The time-dependent expression of keratins 5 and 13 during the reepithelialization of human skin wounds. In: International Journal of Legal Medicine, Vol. 105, No. 4: pp. 229-232


The time-dependent reepithelialization of 55 human surgical skin wounds with a wound age between 8h and more than 2 months was investigated by the immunohistochemical localization of cytokeratins 5 and 13. A complete, rebuilt epidermal layer over the wound area was first detectable in a 5-day-old wound, while all wounds of more than 18 days duration contained a completely reepithelialized wound area. Between 5 and 18 days the basal layer of keratinocytes showed — in contrast to normal skin — only some cells positive for cytokeratin 5. In some, but not all lesions with a wound age of 13 days or more, a basal cell layer completely staining for cytokeratin 5 was demonstrable. This staining pattern was found in all skin wounds with a wound age of more than 23 days. The immunohistochemical detection of cytokeratin 13 which can be observed regularly in non-cornifying squamous epithelia provides no information for the time-estimation of human skin wounds, since no significant temporary expression of this polypeptide seems to occur during the healing of human skin wounds.