Virchows Archiv B

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 317–333 | Cite as

Epidermal intercellular relationships during carcinogenesis and cocarcinogenesis as revealed by scanning electron microscopy

  • Dymitr Komitowski
  • Klaus Goerttler
  • Heinz Löhrke


Investigations with the scanning electron microscope were carried out on the skin of 80 NMRI mice after treating them with small doses of the carcinogenic substance DMBA and the cocarcinogenic agent TPA, respectively. The results were correlated with histologic, transmission electron microscopic and autoradiographic observations. The epidermis of TPA-treated animals was markedly hyperplastic with an orderly arrangment of cell layers. Autoradiographically only the basal cells were heavily labelled. With the scanning and transmission electron microscope a reduced number of intercellular connections and dilatation of the intercellular spaces could be detected. After treatment with DMBA the epidermis was only moderately hyperplastic but severely dysplastic with3H-thymidine-labelled cells in the upper layers. The most characteristic findings were the loss of the intercellular connections, especially the lateral ones, and a pronounced dilatation of the intercellular spaces. The results obtained with the scanning electron microscope were quantified using morphometrical methods.

Key words

Carcinogenesis Cocarcinogenesis Epidermal cells Intercellular connections Scanning electron microscopy DMBA TPA 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dymitr Komitowski
    • 1
  • Klaus Goerttler
    • 1
  • Heinz Löhrke
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Experimental PathologyGerman Cancer Research CenterHeidelberg 1Federal Republic of Germany

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