Distribution of Bcl-2 and Bax in embryonic and fetal human skin: Antiapoptotic and proapoptotic proteins are differentially expressed in developing skin

Klaus Sellheyer, Dieter Krahl, Howard Ratech

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


The Bcl-2 protein is involved in the regulation of apoptosis. Bax has an antagonistic effect and enhances cell death. We report that in early gestation, Bcl-2 and Bax colocalize to the epidermal portion of the hair follicle. In the more advanced stages, Bax is located in the compartments where a hair canal is excavated and keratinization and holocrine secretion are initiated, in contrast to Bcl-2, which is expressed in the follicular papilla, preventing apoptosis and underscoring its role as a permanent and stable population of specialized fibroblasts. Scattered dendritic cells located in the basal and immediate suprabasal interfollicular epidermis as well as in the outer root sheath of the developing hair follicle, including the bulge, strongly express Bcl-2 and label for HMB-45, identifying them as melanocytes. The spatial and temporal expression pattern of Bcl-2 and Bax during human hair follicle development underscores their importance for hair biology and most likely is disturbed in the evolution of follicular tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Dermatopathology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 14 2001



  • Apoptosis
  • Bax
  • Bcl-2
  • Embryology
  • Skin
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Dermatology

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