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Skin, epidermis and dermis

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This image shows the stratified squamous epithelium that comprises the epidermis, overlying the fibrous connective tissue that comprises the dermis.

The epidermis consists primarily of keratinocytes, the cells which accumulate keratin as they mature and migrate toward the surface, eventually becoming the tough, dead outer layer (stratum corneum) of the skin.

Most of the cells comprising epidermis are keratinocytes, but several other cell types (melanocytes, Langerhans cells, and Merkel cells) are also found here.  The cells in this specimen which have small dense nuclei and pale or shrunken cytoplasm probably belong to one or another of these other cell types.

The dermis consists primarily of extracellular collagen fibers (pink), ground substance (pale background color), and fibroblasts.  

To view this region in a larger context (low magnification) click here or on the thumbnail at right.


Comments and questions: dgking@siu.edu

SIUC / School of Medicine / Anatomy / David King

http://www.siumed.edu/~dking2/intro/IN005b.htm
Last updated:  26 July 2002 / dgk