The ''stratum basale'' (basal layer, sometimes referred to as ''stratum germinativum'') is the deepest layer of the five layers of the epidermis
, the external covering of skin
The ''stratum basale'' is a single layer of columnar or cuboidal
basal cells. The cells are attached to each other and to the overlying stratum spinosum
cells by desmosome
s and hemidesmosomes
. The nucleus
is large, ovoid and occupies most of the cell. Some basal cells can act like stem cell
s with the ability to divide and produce new cells, and these are sometimes called basal keratinocyte
stem cells. Others serve to anchor the epidermis glabrous skin
(hairless), and hyper-proliferative epidermis (from a skin disease).
[McGrath, J.A.; Eady, R.A.; Pope, F.M. (2004). ''Rook's Textbook of Dermatology'' (Seventh Edition). Blackwell Publishing. Pages 3.7. .]
They divide to form the keratinocytes of the stratum spinosum, which migrate superficially.
Other types of cells found within the ''stratum basale'' are melanocyte
s (pigment-producing cells) and Merkel cell
s (touch receptors).
s, also called basal-cell carcinomas, account for around 80 per cent of all skin cancer
Not all basal-cell cancers originate in the basal cells but they are so named because the cancer cells resemble basal cells when seen under a microscope.
Image:Normal Epidermis and Dermis with Intradermal Nevus 10x.JPG|Epidermis and dermis of human skin
Image:Skinlayers.png|Section of epidermis
* List of keratins expressed in the human integumentary system