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Anatomy Atlases: Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 1 - Cells Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 1 - Cells

Plate 1.11: Melanin


Ronald A. Bergman, Ph.D., Adel K. Afifi, M.D., Paul M. Heidger, Jr., Ph.D.
Peer Review Status: Externally Peer Reviewed


Plate 1.11: Melanin

Human, 10% formalin, H. & E., 1416 x.

Melanin-containing cells are found in the basal layer of the epidermis (stratum germinativum) in some sites of the body. The pigment is practically absent from the palms and soles, while the areola of the mammary gland, the circumanal region, the labia majora, and the scrotum are more richly pigmented. The melanin pigment is found as granules primarily within the cells of the basal layer. Some granules appear to be scattered among the cells but are actually located in cellular processes. Cells that synthesize melanin (melanocytes) can be distinguished from those to which melanin is subsequently transferred (cytocrine secretion) by means of histochemical methods. The collagenous connective tissue shown is in the dermis of the skin.

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