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View the University of Michigan WebScope at (External Link) to explore the tissue sample in greater detail. If you zoom on the cells at the outermost layer of this section of skin, what do you notice about the cells?

Stratum basale

The stratum basale    (also called the stratum germinativum) is the deepest epidermal layer and attaches the epidermis to the basal lamina, below which lie the layers of the dermis. The cells in the stratum basale bond to the dermis via intertwining collagen fibers, referred to as the basement membrane. A finger-like projection, or fold, known as the dermal papilla    (plural = dermal papillae) is found in the superficial portion of the dermis. Dermal papillae increase the strength of the connection between the epidermis and dermis; the greater the folding, the stronger the connections made ( [link] ).

Layers of the epidermis

This illustration shows a cross section of the epidermis. The cells of the innermost layer, the stratum basale, are large and have a purple nucleus. The stratum basale curls around the dermis, which projects into the epidermis. The stratum basale contains four layers of large, triangle-shaped keratinocytes. Fibers are visible within the spaces between keratinocytes in the stratum basale. A melanocyte is also present in this layer. The melanocyte possesses finger-like projections extending from its main cell body. The projections branch through the extracellular spaces between nearby keratinocytes. Above the stratum basale is the stratum spinosum which consists of 8 layers of oval-shaped keratinocytes. The nucleus is present in these keratinocytes, but has faded to a lighter purple. The stratum granulosum contains five layers of keratinocytes, each containing spots in its cytoplasm, labeled the lamellar granules. The stratum lucidium contains 4 layers of diamond-shaped cells with no nucleus. The stratum corneum contains 9 layers of keratinocytes with no nucleus , nor cytoplasm. A few of the cells in the topmost layer of the stratum corneum are flaking off from the skin.
The epidermis of thick skin has five layers: stratum basale, stratum spinosum, stratum granulosum, stratum lucidum, and stratum corneum.

The stratum basale is a single layer of cells primarily made of basal cells. A basal cell    is a cuboidal-shaped stem cell that is a precursor of the keratinocytes of the epidermis. All of the keratinocytes are produced from this single layer of cells, which are constantly going through mitosis to produce new cells. As new cells are formed, the existing cells are pushed superficially away from the stratum basale. Two other cell types are found dispersed among the basal cells in the stratum basale. The first is a Merkel cell    , which functions as a receptor and is responsible for stimulating sensory nerves that the brain perceives as touch. These cells are especially abundant on the surfaces of the hands and feet. The second is a melanocyte    , a cell that produces the pigment melanin. Melanin gives hair and skin its color, and also helps protect the living cells of the epidermis from ultraviolet (UV) radiation damage.

In a growing fetus, fingerprints form where the cells of the stratum basale meet the papillae of the underlying dermal layer (papillary layer), resulting in the formation of the ridges on your fingers that you recognize as fingerprints. Fingerprints are unique to each individual and are used for forensic analyses because the patterns do not change with the growth and aging processes.

Stratum spinosum

As the name suggests, the stratum spinosum    is spiny in appearance due to the protruding cell processes that join the cells via a structure called a desmosome    . The desmosomes interlock with each other and strengthen the bond between the cells. It is interesting to note that the “spiny” nature of this layer is an artifact of the staining process. Unstained epidermis samples do not exhibit this characteristic appearance. The stratum spinosum is composed of eight to 10 layers of keratinocytes, formed as a result of cell division in the stratum basale ( [link] ). Interspersed among the keratinocytes of this layer is a type of dendritic cell called the Langerhans cell    , which functions as a macrophage by engulfing bacteria, foreign particles, and damaged cells that occur in this layer.

Questions & Answers

How does blood circulate in the upper limbs
Mary Reply
describe the muscles found in the heart
Atotwe Reply
myocardial
Kenndy
thank you very much
Atotwe
asalamu aleikum
Cabdala
waalekum salam
Tifu
types of connective tissues?
Tifu
what is a muscular system and details about it
Jackson Reply
what is the type of homones responseble for blenking of eyes
Moses Reply
what are the functions of cell?
Keyirangzile Reply
how does the femur act as a lever?
Mutoni Reply
what is stumac
Abdussalam Reply
What is phagocytosis
Mohamed Reply
Phagocytosis, process by which certain living cells called phagocyte
Sadashiv
It is the process that is carried out by the immune system of the body, that certain specialized immune cells (macrophages, Nks, dendritic cells, etc) that engulf and neutralize the foreign substances that invades the body.
Wesley
So that they can be predicate out of the body.
Wesley
phagocytosis is the process by which living cell or yh plasma membrane engulf large molecules into it internal environment ... it also known as food feeding
Boateng
all that you are say what does it mean?
Dzah
simply is the way the immune system fights foreign bodies by engulfing them..
Dzah
by the help of the immune cells...
Dzah
The process by which a cell engulfs particles such as bacteria, other microorganisms, debris of dead cell.e.g: neutrophils and monocytes (types of white blood cells)
Tifu
what are the six types of connective tissues
Athieno Reply
loose and dense , cartilage and bone , blood and lymph
Queen
describe the structure of the liver
Atwebembeire Reply
what is specific name for spinal cord
Stanley Reply
what is the best description for skeletal muscular
Stanley
what is the best description for skeletal muscular
Stanley
costs of bones of skeleton, their joint s and voluntary
grace
what are examples of long bones
grace
example of long bones will be the femur tibia and humerus and even radius
Nina
so basically long bones are mostly in you hands and feets
Nina
skeletal muscular are voluntary and are attached to the bone by tendon which help maintain the posture and position of the body and it also protects internal organs in the abdominal region
Nina
The specific name for spinal cord is coccygeal segment
Sandra
what are the hormones responseble for blenking of eyes.
Moses
Smallest unit of life
Kimberly Reply
cell
Adnan
The cell is the smallest structural and functional unit of living organisms, which can exist on its own. Therefore, it is sometimes called the building block of life. Some organisms, such as bacteria or yeast, are unicellular—consisting only of a single cell—while others, for instance, mammalians, a
Adnan
cells are the building blocks of life
Stanley
Describe the complications of fracture
Zaifa Reply
functions of connective tissue
renah Reply
binding and structural support protection Insulation Transport of materials
Priyantha
Is there any artery that carries oxygenated blood? what's the name?
Sayo
Deoxygenated blood enters the right atrium from the vena cava. Blood moves into right ventricle. Blood is pumped into the pulmonary artery. The pulmonary artery carries deoxygenated blood to the lungs. The blood becomes oxygenated in the lungs. Oxygenated blood leaves the lung via the pulmonary
Danni
all arteries carry oxygenated blood except pulmonary artery
SAMSON
protection,,,,,transport,,,,,,connection,,,,,,,support,,,,,these are functions of connective tissue
Tifu
and insulation
Tifu
what is a local potential
Nandi Reply
potential of neurons
vipin
response of neurons against sodium ion Chanel
vipin
The resting membrane potential of a neuron is about -70 mV (mV=millivolt) - this means that the inside of the neuron is 70 mV less than the outside. At rest, there are relatively more sodium ions outside the neuron and more potassium ions inside that neuron.
Adnan

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Source:  OpenStax, Anatomy & Physiology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 04, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11496/1.8
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