The distribution in human epidermis of A, B, and H blood group antigens and of a precursor carbohydrate chain, N-acetyl-lactosamine, was examined using immunofluorescence staining techniques. The material included tissue from 10 blood group A, 4 blood group B, and 9 blood group O persons. Murine monoclonal antibodies were used to identify H antigen (type 2 chain) and N-acetyl-lactosamine. Human antisera were used to identify A and B antigens. In all groups N-acetyl-lactosamine and H antigen were found on the cell membranes of the spinous cell layer. N-acetyl-lactosamine was present mainly on the lower spinous cells whereas H antigen was seen predominantly on upper spinous cells or on the granular cells. Epithelia from blood group A or B persons demonstrated A or B antigens, respectively, but only if the tissue sections were trypsinized before staining. In such cases A or B antigens were found on the cell membranes in the granular cell layer.
Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 1984, Vol 82, p. 13-7