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superficial, thinner epithelial tissue layer

-composed of stratified keratinized epithelium
-cells = keratinocytes, melanocytes, langerhans, merkel


form fibrous protein keratin, creating 5 layers

-deepest layer of basal cells attach to basal lamina of basement membrane
-basal cells mitotically active = new cells form basal layer, old cells pushed toward skin surface
-3 to 4 weeks for epidermal replication


produce pigment granules melanin for skin color, tanning, protecting against UV radiation

Langerhans Cells

dendritic cells that act as antigen-presenting cells

-like macrophages expressing MHC I/II molecules to phagocytose and process antigens

Merkel Cells

provide cutaneous sensory information of pain, temperature, touch

Basement Membrane

interface between dermis and epidermis

-separates epithelium from underlying connective tissue
-anchors epithelium to loose connective tissue underneath
-selective filter for molecules moving between layers


deeper layer of connective tissue separates epidermis from subcutaneous tissue

-primary source of nutrition for epidermis
-support with collagen fibers
-contains blood vessels,
-immune cells for phagocytosis, antigen presenting properties
-neurons for sensory perception

Subcutaneous Tissue

provides support, insulation, energy storage

-storage site for fat = fat deposits
-connective tissues = fibrous tissues

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