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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the expression of the integrin alpha6beta4 in experimental allergic neuritis (EAN) and the relationship of the integrin alpha6beta4 with functional states of Schwann cells (Sc) as well as the injury and repair of the myelin during EAN. EAN was induced in Lewis rats and sciatic nerves were resected in 18 EAN and 3 normal rats. The expression of tissue integrin alpha6beta4 was analyzed during the course of EAN induction and in controls by in situ hybridization and semi-quantitative RT-PCR. The detection of integrin alpha6 and beta4 subunit by hybridization in situ demonstrated that expression of alpha6 subunit present no significant changes during the course of EAN, while expression of beta4 declined in the early phase, showing less positive signals than those of the control, and restored its expression in the later or recovery phase. The changes of expression of integrin alpha6 and beta4 in EAN were confirmed by semi-quantitative PT-PCR, using GAPDH as the internal standard. The degeneration and injury of Sc caused by inflammation affect the expression of integrin, which shows similar changes in Sc during embryogenesis, indicating alpha6beta4 may be a marker of Sc differentiation and at least an important molecule to mark the course of EAN. The expression of alpha6beta4 correlate with the injury and repair of myelin during EAN.
    Zhonghua bing li xue za zhi Chinese journal of pathology 07/2003; 32(3):247-50.