A rare congenital dermatosis, characterized by progressive hypotrichosis with variable scaling and crusting, occurred in 10 short-haired kittens in North America and Europe. Lesions appeared at between 4 and 12 weeks of age, commencing on the head and becoming generalized. The tail was spared in two kittens. Generalized scaling was mild to moderate, often with prominent follicular casts. Periocular, perioral, pinnal and ear canal crusting was occasionally severe. The skin was thick and wrinkled in two kittens.
Histologically, the main lesion was abnormal sebaceous gland morphology. Instead of regular differentiation from basal cells to mature sebocytes, the glands were composed of a haphazard collection of undifferentiated basaloid cells, some partly vacuolated and a few containing eosinophilic globules. Mitotic figures and apoptotic cells were present in an irregularly thickened follicular isthmus. Lymphocytic mural folliculitis and mild sebaceous adenitis were rare. Orthokeratotic hyperkeratosis and follicular casts were present. Hair follicles were of normal density and were mostly in anagen, but some contained malacic hair shafts. Perforating folliculitis, leading to dermal trichogranuloma formation, occurred occasionally. Further biopsy samples taken at 2 years and at 3 and 4 years, respectively, from two kittens revealed similar but often more severe sebaceous gland lesions. Hair follicles were smaller, with many in telogen.
The young age of onset suggests a genetic defect interfering with sebaceous and, possibly, follicular development. These lesions are discussed with reference to studies of mouse mutants in which genetic defects in sebaceous differentiation cause a similar phenotype of hyperkeratosis and progressive alopecia.
- MOUSE-CHROMOSOME 11
- SCARRING ALOPECIA
- HAIR FOLLICLE
- MURAL FOLLICULITIS
- BORDER DISEASE