Morphopathological aspects of healthy nails and nails affected by onychomycosis

Olga Zaikovska, Mara Pilmane, Janis Kisis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Patients of onychomycosis are common in the dermatology practice. Contemporary morphology creates opportunities to study the functional units of the nail when such infections occur from morphopathological point of view. There were 22 nails biopsies from onychomycosis patients taken for the research of morphopathological changes in the thickened nail plate affected by onychomycosis. Samples of cadaverous' nails were used as a control material. The material was stained with haematoxylin and eosin and immunohistochemical methods. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labelling reaction and periodic acid-Schiff reaction were also performed. We found patchy hypertrophy in the granulose layer of the epidermis, with focal acanthosis. In the horn layer, we identified nests of parakeratosis of various sizes, with incorporations of homogenous and eosinophil masses. We found high levels of interleukin 6 and interleukin 10 positive cells in the nail bed and in the bloodstream. Interleukin 1, however, was not a part of any of the functional units of any of the nails. Significant amount of fibres containing human beta defensin-2 were found in the bed and plate of the nail. Therefore one can conclude that as regards the nails affected by onychomycosis, the most effective morphopathogenical processes include cytokine and defensin excretion occurrence in the nail bed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-536
Number of pages6
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014


  • Antimicrobial peptides
  • Defensin 2
  • Interleukins
  • Nail biopsy
  • Onychomycosis

Field of Science*

  • 3.1 Basic medicine
  • 3.2 Clinical medicine
  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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