Feb 15, 2023
The histology of skin provides insight into the structure and function of the skin, including the different layers and the various cells and tissues involved in maintaining skin health. A good understanding of the histology of skin is important for understanding the anatomic basis of various skin conditions and diseases, such as skin cancer, dermatitis, and acne. Besides, in the NEET PG exam histology of skin is a topic that is frequently tested.
In this blog, we’ve discussed this important anatomy topic briefly for the NEET PG/NExT exam preparation. Read on.
Epidermis can have 4 or 5 layers depending on the location it is present in.
The above skin specimen is taken from the palm (thick skin). Therefore, we can see 5 layers of epidermis.
It has a lot of keratin fibers and dead cells. It is because of these keratin fibers, that this layer has an eosinophilic appearance (pinkish color).
It is a thin pinkish layer. It is seen only in the areas of thick skin, like the palms and soles. This layer also has dead cells.
It has kerato-hyaline granules for the formation of keratin filaments.
It is also known as the ‘Prickle cell layer’ and is the thickest of all layers. It is called so, because the cells in this layer have a spiny or pointed appearance. This spiny appearance is because of the abundance of desmosomes in this layer. The desmosomes in this layer are compromised in diseases like pemphigus vulgaris, which causes skin blisters.
It is also known as Stratum germinativum, because this layer has stem cells that keep adding more layers of skin as it sloughs off from the surface. It is a single layer of columnar cells.
The dermis is divided into 2 layers:
It has some loose areolar connective tissue with some special receptors. In the above skin specimen, we can appreciate a Meissner’s corpuscle.
It is present in the papillary layer of the dermis. It detects the 2-point discrimination or tactile discrimination.
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Here, the stratum lucidum is missing. Some special cells seen in stratum basale:
Derived from neural crest cells (NCCs). It synthesizes melanin, to help our body counter UV radiation from sunlight. It gives multiple processes, which are also reaching the upper layers, like the stratum spinosum.
It is a slowly adapting receptor, for light touch sensations, like holding a pencil.
These are antigen-presenting cells (APCs).
They pick up the antigen and present it to the lymphocytes as they move on towards the lymph nodes.
They belong to the monocyte-phagocyte series.
They are mostly seen in stratum spinosum.
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Fetal Veins, Portal vein formation, Derivatives of the embryonic veins - NEET PG Anatomy
Dermis: It has 2 layers.
|Meissner’s corpuscle (E)||Merkel cell (B)|
|It is an encapsulated receptor, with multiple stacks of cells, for 2-point discrimination.||It is a slowly adapting receptor, it detects light touch sensations.|
|It is a rapidly adapting receptor||It is a slowly adapting receptor|
|It is seen at the dermo-epidermal junction, in the papillary layer of dermis.||It is seen in stratum basale.|
|Important Information: |
Braille is read with the help of Meissner’s corpuscle. This is because it is a rapidly adapting receptor, which makes reading braille easier.
However, the most precise receptor to read Braille is → Merkel cell > Meissner’s corpuscle.
But since the Merkel cell is a slowly adapting receptor, it helps in identifying the character but does not help us in reading the sentences.
Meissner’s corpuscle can also help in detecting low frequency vibrations.
Pacinian corpuscle (F):
It is present in the deep dermis.
It helps in detecting pressure and high frequency vibrations.
It is a rapidly adapting receptor.
Ruffini receptor (D):
It is present in the deep dermis.
It helps in detecting the dermal stretch, when there is a stretch on the skin.
It is a slowly adapting receptor.
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