Cell Adhesion and Migration in Skin Disease
The past few years have seen considerable advances in our understanding of the molecular basis underlying cutaneous cell adhesion mechanisms. Co-authored by a number of leading experts in the field ^Cell Adhesion and Migration in Skin Disease provides a comprehensive overview of the critical role played by cell adhesion in determining the structure and function of both healthy and diseased human skin.
The book is divided into three main sections, with each one addressing a principal function of adhesion molecules.
The first part focuses on the epidermis, which as the skin's outermost layer, acts as the human body's primary barrier of defence. Roles played by cytoskeletal intermediate filaments and junctional complexes in cutaneous cell adhesion are emphasised with descriptions of blistering skin diseases that can arise if these molecules malfunction.
The second part describes the macromolecular interactions responsible for the anchorage of cells to the underlying extracellular basement membrane. The experimental approaches detailed in the text not only reveal how the molecular components of the dermal-epidermal junction have been elucidated, but also highlight how mutations in the genes which encode these molecules are responsible for many heritable skin diseases. Leukocytes continually infiltrate the skin and patrol it for potentially harmful pathogens. Control of leukocyte adhesion to resident cells within the skin and to the extracellular matrix plays a key role in controlling these processes. These mechanisms constitute the primary focus of the final section. The pivotal role of leukocytes is examined in conjunction with the chronic inflammatory diseases which arise when components of the skin's finely tuned defence strategy go awry and the potential for these anomalies to be pinpointed as important immunotherapeutic targets for skin diseases.