Skin Biopsy Specimen
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Features which can be seen in this image include:
- Melanocytes in the basal layer of the epidermis.
- Melanocytes are typically recognizable by the pale halo surrounding the nucleus. This appearance results partly from pale (weakly staining) cytoplasm and partly from artifactual cell shrinkage.
- (The cytoplasm of keratinocytes, which form the bulk of the epidermis, is much more basophilic. Keratinocytes are also reinforced by intracellular fibers and are tightly attached to one another, so keratinocytes do not display this shrinkage characteristic.)
- Although not obvious in this digitized micrograph, melanocytes also differ from keratinocytes in the appearance their nuclei. Melanocyte nuclei are smaller, darker with grainier chromatin, and have less-conspicuous nucleoli.
- Connective tissue of dermis, with fibers and ground substance.
- The papillary layer of the dermis lies just beneath the epidermis and contains finely-textured collagen fibers.
- The reticular layer of the dermis lies deep to the papillary layer and contains coarsely-textured collagen fibers.
- Several small blood vessels.
- Many small features (such as individual fibroblasts and collagen fibers) are not individually labelled.
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SIUC / School
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Last updated: 11 December 2007 / dgk