Abstract Alkaline phosphatase (AP) appears early in fetal life in the mesenchymal cells of the presumptive dermis, especially in the anlagen of the papillae of hair follicles and in the endothelial cells of the blood vessels. It appears later in the eccrine and apocrine sweat glands from which it later mostly disappears. AP is inconstantly present in the cells of the bulb of hair follicles, and it is never present in the cells of the sebaceous glands and the epidermis. In the tips of the fingers and toes it is concentrated in the nail wall, around the nail matrix and nail plate, and in the sole plate. Towards the end of fetal life, AP is only moderately active or absent in the tips of the fingers and toes. The physiological role of AP in the skin may be related to morphogenesis and particularly to the differentiation of the pilary system, and to keratinization of the epidermis and the nail plate. In the endothelium of small vessels its function could be that of aiding the transfer of materials to and from the vessels (phosphorylation and dephosphorylation). AP disappears from the endothelium of vessels as soon as the tunicae are formed; it remains in the arterial limbs of capillaries. References 1. Throughout this paper the symbol AP will be used for alkaline phosphatase. 2. Fisher, I., and Glick, D.: Histochemistry: Localization of Alkaline Phosphatase in Normal and Pathological Human Skin , Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. 66:14, 1947.Crossref 3. Pirilä, V., and Eränkö, O.: Distribution of Histochemically Demonstrable Alkaline Phosphatase in Normal and Pathologic Human Skin , Acta Path. Microbiol. Scand. 27:650, 1950.Crossref 4. Kopf, A. W.: The Distribution of Alkaline Phosphatase in Normal and Pathologic Human Skin , A.M.A. Arch. Derm. 75:1-37, 1957.Crossref 5. Kopf, A. W., and Orentreich, N.: Alkaline Phosphatase in Alopecia Areata , A.M.A. Arch. Derm. 76:288-295, 1957.Crossref 6. Rossi, F.; Pescetto, G., and Reale, E.: Enzymatic Activities in Human Ontogenesis: First Synoptic Tables of Histochemical Research , J. Histochem. Cytochem. 5:221-235, 1957.Crossref 7. Achten, G.: Recherches sur la kératinisation de la cellule épidermique chez l'homme et le rat , Arch. Biol. (Liège) 7:1-119, 1959. 8. Mori, T.: Histochemical Studies on the Distribution of Alkaline Phosphatase in the Early Human Embryos: I. Observations on 2 Embryos in Early Somite Stage, Streeter's Horizon X , Arch. Histol. Jap. 16:169-193, 1959Crossref 9. II. Observations on an Embryo with 13-14 Somites , Arch. Histol. Jap. 18: 197-209, 1959.Crossref 10. Gomori, G.: Microscopic Histochemistry: Principles and Practice , Chicago, The University of Chicago Press, 1952. 11. Montagna, W.: The Structure and Function of Skin , New York, Academic Press, 1962. 12. Serri, F.: Studi sulla cute del feto e del bambino: I. Peculiarità nello sviluppo e nella struttura delle cute fetale, Boll. Soc. Ital. Biol. Sper., to be published. 13. Montagna, W., and Ellis, R. A.: Histology and Cytochemistry of Human Skin: XIII. The Blood Supply of the Hair Follicle , J. Nat. Cancer Inst. 19:451-463, 1957. 14. Moretti, G.; Ellis, R. A., and Mescon, H.: Vascular Patterns in the Skin of the Face , J. Invest. Derm. 33:103-112, 1959.Crossref 15. Moretti, G., and Montagna, W.: Istologia e citochimica della cute umana: XVIII. Le unità vascolari , G. Ital. Derm. 3:242-254, 1959. 16. Ellis, R. A., and Moretti, G.: Vascular Patterns Associated with Catagen Hair Follicles in the Human Scalp , Annals of the N.Y. Acad. Sci. 83:448-457, 1959.Crossref 17. Beckett, E. B.; Bourne, G. H., and Montagna, W.: Histology and Cytochemistry of Human Skin: The Distribution of Cholinesterase in the Finger of the Embryo and the Adult , J. Physiol. 134:202-206, 1956. 18. Serri, F., and Montagna, W.: The Structure and Function of the Epidermis , The Pediat. Clin. N. Amer. 8:917-941, 1961. 19. Serri, F.; Montagna, W., and Mescon, H.: Glycogen and Amylophosphorylase in the Skin of the Fetus , J. Invest. Derm. 39:199-217, 1962.Crossref 20. Serri, F., and Huber, W. M.: The Development of Sebaceous Glands in the Fetus , in Advances in Biology of Skin, Vol. IV, The Sebaceous Glands , Pergamon Press, New York, to be published. 21. Boyer, P. D.; Lardy, H., and Myrback, K.: The Enzymes , Academic Press, New York, Vol. 5, 1961, pp. 55-71. 22. Fazzari, I.: II problema della stroma , Rass. Clin.-Sci. Ist. Biochim. Ital. 27:355-361, 1951. 23. Moog, F.: The Physiological Significance of the Phosphomonoesterases , Biol. Rev. 21:41, 1946.Crossref
Archives of Dermatology – American Medical Association
Published: Feb 1, 1963
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