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1 July 2016 A novel ultrastructure on the corneocyte surface of mammaliannasolabial skin
Rolf Elofsson, Inga Tuminaite, Ronald H. H. Kröger
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In many mammals, the skin of the rhinarium includes a thick epidermal layer. The skin surface can be smooth but can also display a structure formed of domes, ridges, and polygonal areas: a dermatoglyphic or rhinoglyphic pattern. Each structure consists of an easily visible, large area of the epidermis. The abdominal epidermis may or may not have a dermatoglyphic pattern. The abdominal skin examined in our study had no pattern and was consequently unstructured and smooth. The ultrastructural surface pattern is formed in the granular and corneous regions of nasal epidermis by desmosome protrusions projecting into adjacent keratinocytes. Complete retraction of the keratinocyte protrusions with desmosomes in the abdominal epidermis creates an unstructured, smooth surface. The cornification process differs morphologically in nasolabial and abdominal skin. In this study, we report a novel structure in the nose skin. It is related only to the surface of a single corneocyte (keratinocyte) and consists of submicrometer pores or furrows, an ultrastructure pattern. It is not related to the rhinoglyphic pattern. The nose skin can thus have 2 unrelated patterns. This structure seems to be widespread among the Mammalia. We suggest the function of the structure is to keep the rhinarium evenly moist.

© 2016 American Society of Mammalogists,
Rolf Elofsson, Inga Tuminaite, and Ronald H. H. Kröger "A novel ultrastructure on the corneocyte surface of mammaliannasolabial skin," Journal of Mammalogy 97(5), 1288-1294, (1 July 2016).
Received: 17 November 2015; Accepted: 15 June 2016; Published: 1 July 2016
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