In normal epidermis integrin expression is largely confined to the basal layer. However, during wound healing and in psoriatic lesions suprabasal expression is observed. Although the potential importance of suprabasal integrin expression in the pathogenesis of psoriasis has been established, the cause of suprabasal expression is unknown. We now describe changes in integrin expression that occur with time when normal human keratinocytes are grown on two types of dermal equivalent, de-epidermized dermis and collagen gels containing fibroblasts. We show that suprabasal integrin expression is correlated with suprabasal expression of the EGF receptor, but not with expression of keratin 10 or keratin 16. By quantitating the proportion of basal keratinocytes expressing the proliferation marker Ki-67 we could show that suprabasal integrin expression is correlated with high proliferative activity within the basal layer. Taken together with our earlier work, these results suggest that suprabasal integrin expression is linked to hyperproliferation and not to abnormal terminal differentiation or to inflammation; they also establish dermal equivalent cultures as useful experimental models with which to manipulate keratinocyte integrin expression.