Aged Skin: A Study by Light, Transmission Electron, and Scanning Electron Microscopy

Lavker, Robert M.; Zheng, Peishu; Dong, Gang
March 1987
Journal of Investigative Dermatology;Mar87 Supplement, Vol. 88, p44s
Academic Journal
The fine structural organization of the epidermis, dermal/epidermal junction, and dermis from an unexposed site (upper inner arm) of elderly people was compared with the organization of a similar region of young people. Despite an overall thinning of the epidermis and focal areas of cytologic atypia, the characteristic morphological markers associated with the keratinization process are not markedly altered in appearance or amount. A well-formed stratum corneum consisting of flattened, enucleated horny cells enveloped by a thickened membrane, and intracellular spaces filled with electron-dense material provide structural evidence that barrier ability is not compromised in senile skin. The dermal/epidermal changes in aged skin are marked and have significant physiologic implications. The major change is a relatively flat dermal/epidermal junction resulting from the retraction of the epidermal papillae as well as the microprojections of basal cells into the dermis. This flattening results in a more fragile epidermal/dermal interface and, consequently, the epidermis is less resistant to shearing forces. Retraction of the epidermal downgrowths (preferential sites of the putative epidermal stem cell) may also explain the loss in proliferative capacity associated with the aged epidermis. The three-dimensional arrangements of collagen and elastic fibers showed marked alterations with age. Both fibrous components appear more compact because of a decrease in spaces between the fibers. Collagen bundles appear to unravel, and the individual elastic fibers show signs of elastosis. These changes may contribute to the loss of resilience that is one of the salient features of senile skin.


Related Articles

  • Epidermal-dermal Interactions in Adult Skin. Briggaman, Robert A. // Journal of Investigative Dermatology;Jul82Supplement, Vol. 79, p21s 

    Epidermal-dermal interactions are important determinants of embryonic development in skin. This review examines the role of such epidermal-dermal interactions in the conservation of epithelial specificity in adult skin. The basic epidermal keratinization program as defined as a proliferative...

  • THE STRUCTURE OF NORMAL SKIN AND THE MORPHOLOGY OF ATOPIC ECZEMA. Mihm Jr., Martin C.; Soter, Nicholas A.; Dvorak, Harold F.; Austen, K. Frank // Journal of Investigative Dermatology;Sep76, Vol. 67 Issue 3, p305 

    The understanding of cutaneous diseases requires a thorough knowledge of the anatomy of normal skin. The epidermis is composed of layers respectively termed horny, granular, squamous and basal. The most superficial of these is the horny layer or stratum corneum which, on the skin of the forearm,...

  • Dilated Pore of Winer, Dr. Louis H Winer and Wine Glass. Sarma, Deba P. // Internet Journal of Dermatology;2009, Vol. 7 Issue 2, p6 

    I have made a personal observation that a dilated pore of Winer, on microscopic examination resembles a glass of red wine.

  • Avian Spur Development: Abnormal Morphogenesis and Keratinization in the Scaleless (sc/sc) Mutant. Smoak, K. Dale; Sawyer, Roger H. // BioScience;Sep1983, Vol. 33 Issue 8, p514 

    The article presents a study which states that the dermis of the scaleless spur does not receive the appropriate cues from its overlying epidermis during early stages of morphogenesis. The production of beta keratin by scutate scale epidermis is induced by the underlying dermis, which acquires...

  • Methods for Cultivation of Keratinocytes with an Air-Liquid Interface. Pruniéras, Michel; Régnier, Marcelle; Woodley, David // Journal of Investigative Dermatology;Jul83 Supplement, Vol. 81, p28s 

    In ordinary cultures, cells are grown on artificial substrates and immersed in culture medium. In vivo, interfollicular epidermal cells grow on the basement membrane and are exposed to air. In a first effort to render the culture of these cells more physiological it seems legitimate to raise the...

  • A RAPID METHOD FOR PREPARING EPIDERMAL SLICES OF REPRODUCIBLE THICKNESS FROM EXCISED RAT SKIN. Middleton, Marshall C.; Hasmall, Ray // Journal of Investigative Dermatology;Feb77, Vol. 68 Issue 2, p108 

    An apparatus is described with which epidermal slices of reproducible thickness can be rapidly cut from excised rat skin. It has been demonstrated that the weight of an epidermal slice per unit area gives an assessment of the average thickness of that slice.

  • 8-Methoxypsoralen (8-MOP) in Human Skin: Penetration Kinetics. Gazith, J.; Schalla, W.; Bauer, E.; Schaefer, H. // Journal of Investigative Dermatology;Aug78, Vol. 71 Issue 2, p126 

    Penetration kinetics of 8-methoxypsoralen (8-MOP) into human skin have been investigated under in vitro conditions. The dependence of the resulting tissue concentration on time of penetration, drug concentration in the applied preparation and vehicle composition has been studied. Tissue...

  • In This Issue. Nickoloff, Brian J. // Journal of Investigative Dermatology;Jul2004, Vol. 123 Issue 1, pvii 

    Since skin covers the body, it serves as a primary physical barrier protecting against physical, chemical and infectious assaults. In addition, skin contains an abundance of immunocytes located both within the epidermis and dermis to provide both innate and adaptive immune responses should a...

  • Physiological and retinoid-induced proliferations of epidermis basal keratinocytes are differently controlled. Chapellier, Benoit; Mark, Manuel; Messaddeq, Nadia; Calléja, Cécile; Warot, Xavier; Brocard, Jacques; Gérard, Christelle; Mei Li; Metzger, Daniel; Ghyselinck, Norbert B.; Chambon, Pierre // EMBO Journal;7/1/2002, Vol. 21 Issue 13, p3402 

    To investigate the roles of retinoic acid (RA) receptors (RARs) in the physiology of epidermis that does not express RARß, conditional spatio-temporally controlled somatic mutagenesis was used to selectively ablate RARa in keratinocytes of RAR?-


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics