Skin lamellar bodies are not discrete vesicles but part of a tubuloreticular network

Lianne Den Hollander, Hongmei Han, Matthijs De Winter, Lennart Svensson, Sergej Masich, Bertil Daneholt, Lars Norlén

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Improved knowledge of the topology of lamellar bodies is a prerequisite for a molecular-level understanding of skin barrier formation, which in turn may provide clues as to the underlying causes of barrier-deficient skin disease. The aim of this study was to examine the key question of continuity vs. discreteness of the lamellar body system using 3 highly specialized and complementary 3-dimensional (3D) electron microscopy methodologies; tomography of vitreous sections (TOVIS), freeze-substitution serial section electron tomography (FS-SET), and focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy (FIBSEM) tomography. We present here direct evidence that lamellar bodies are not discrete vesicles, but are part of a tubuloreticular membrane network filling out the cytoplasm and being continuous with the plasma membrane of stratum granulosum cells. This implies that skin barrier formation could be regarded as a membrane folding/ unfolding process, but not as a lamellar body fusion process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-308
Number of pages6
JournalActa Dermato-Venereologica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


  • Skin barrier


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