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The Integumentary System

Dermatology examination

6.1 The Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue

Diagrammatic cross section of human skin. Accessory organs of the skin include hair, nails,
and cutaneous glands

Very low power view through a section of thick skin

Integumentary tissues
Which layer(s) of the skin is/are
comprised of epithelial tissue?
Which layer(s) of the skin is/are
comprised largely of connective

Primary tissue types in humans

In which layer do we see the

least vasculature (blood
Where are the neurons and
sensory structures distributed?

Human integumentary system

Structural components of the skin & subcutaneous tissue


Sweat pores
Dermal papilla
Tactile corpuscle
(touch receptor)


Blood capillaries

Hair follicle
Sebaceous gland
Hair receptor
Apocrine sweat gland

(subcutaneous fat)

Hair bulb
nerve fbers

Merocrine sweat
Piloerector muscle
Lamellar (pacinian)
corpuscle (pressure receptor)

Cutaneous blood
Motor nerve fbers

FIGURE 6.1 Structure of the Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue. The epidermis is peeled up at the
upper left corner to show the dermalepidermal boundary.

Thin and thick skin

Which image - left or right - shows thin skin, and which shows thick skin?
How did you know?

Thin skin and thick skin

Where on the body does thick skin occur?

Which epidermal cell layer is absent in thin skin?
Which of the two, thick vs. thin, lacks hair follicles and sebaceous glands?

Major functions of skin & subcutaneous tissue



Sensory reception

Vitamin D synthesis

Nonverbal communication

Figure 6.2

Be able to give a one or two sentence synopsis/characterization of each of these


Read The Epidermis (pp. 178-182) and study the following slide to learn about the
epidermis; be able to answer/address the following:
Learn the epidermal layers in thin and thick skin.
Learn these cells types, their structural organization, and their important properties:
Basal cells (stem cells) of the Stratum Basale
Keratinocytes of the Stratum Spinosum, Stratum Granulosum, Stratum Lucidum, and
Stratum Corneum
Know how keratinocytes change in terms of structure and properties as they
progress from being components of the Stratum Granulosum to being
components of the Stratum Corneum.
Learn these cell types, their locations, and their important functions in the epidermis.
Melanocytes, Dendritic Cells, Langerhans Cells
Be able to explain the four structural/functional processes in keratinocytes of the stratum
granulosum that give rise to the epidermal water barrier of the skin


Is this the epidermis of thin skin, or

of thick skin? (hint; this epidermis
has four, not five, layers)

Epidermal cells and layers of the epidermis

Cell Layers

Cell Types

The life history of a keratinocyte

Stratum granulosum; formation of the epidermal water barrier
Keratinocytes become more flattened, and express proteins that aggregate to form
keratohyalin granules.
Keratohyalin granules release filaggrin, which binds keratin filaments in to
tough bundles
Keratinocytes produce a very tough layer of envelope proteins just beneath the cell
Keratinocytes produce lipid-rich membrane
coating vesicles
Lipid mixture released, covers the cells,
waterproofing them
Keratinocytes die, leaving just the tough
waterproof sac enclosing coarse bundles of

The dermis

Of the two connective tissue layers of the dermis, the papillary

and the reticular layers, which one is comprised of areolar
connective tissue, and which one is comprised of dense
irregular connective tissue?

The dermis

Label the epidermal ridges and dermal papillae on the preceding

What is the functional significance of these interlocking ridges
and papillae? Where, on the body, are these ridges and papillae
most pronounced, and why would that be?

Loose connective tissue

Dense connective tissue

The dermis

Papillary and Reticular layers of the dermis

The loose organization of the

areolar connective tissue has
functional significance - how so
(think mobility of defense cells)?

Transdermal Absorption

Drugs most suitable for transdermal transport have high lipid solubility. Why do
you suppose that is?
To be effective, the transdermal drug must reach the dermis - why?

The hypodermis
The hypodermis is comprised
partly of areolar connective
tissue, but is mostly comprised
of ________ tissue.
In the hypodermis, fat cells are
organized into lobules, loosely
separated from each other by
intervening connective tissue.
Label a lobule on the histology
slide at right, and intervening
connective tissue.
What are the major functions of
the hypodermis?

Skin color
Melanin, a tyrosine derivative with two
major forms in mammals
Melanin synthesis and distribution
Effects of UV radiation, sunlight, on
melanin synthesis & skin color
Variation in Melanin deposition across

Some of the variation in human skin coloration;

Sub-Saharan African, Indian, Southern European, and Northern European

Skin color

Figure 6.6 Variation in Skin Pigmentation.

In darker compared to lighter skin;

Melanocytes produce greater quantities of melanin,
Melanin granules in the keratinocytes are more spread out than tightly clumped
Melanin breaks down more slowly.

Evolution of skin color

Skin pigmentation evolves in response to a combination of selective


Adverse effects of UV radiation: _______

Positive effects of UV radiation: ________

Skin color
Abnormal skin colors of diagnostic value include:


Albinism: What is the cause?

Johnny Winter - Johnny B. Goode 1971

Johnny Winter

6.3 Cutaneous Glands




- sweat begins as a protein-free filtrate of blood plasma produced by the

deep secretory portion of gland

- cooling function
- excretory function
-barrier function
- scent function

Whats the excretory role of merocrine glands?

Why are apocrine sweat glands localized to areas covered by pubic, axillary, and
male facial hair - whats the supposed adaptive significance?

Sweat (Sudoriforous) Glands

In both aprocrine and merocrine gland function, what are the roles of the
sympathetic nervous system and myoepithelial cells in forcing sweat up the duct
to the skin surface?
Which type of sweat gland, merocrine or apocrine, releases its sweat product
from its secretory base into its lumen via exocytosis?

sweat gland

Merocrine Gland

Figure 6.11a

sweat gland

Apocrine Gland

Skin Cancer

6.4 Skin Disorders

What is the most common cause of these cancers?
Which integumentary cell type becomes cancerous in
each of these cancers?
How do these cancers differ in their incidence? in their
Which cancer type is associated with the BRAF gene?

Figure 6.12 Skin Cancer


MAPK pathway


transcriptional regulation,
proliferation, differentiation,

Figure 6.12 Skin Cancer