dermal papilla
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The dermis or corium is a layer of
skin Skin is the layer of usually soft, flexible outer tissue covering the body of a vertebrate animal, with three main functions: protection, regulation, and sensation. Other animal coverings, such as the arthropod exoskeleton, have different d ...
between the
epidermis The epidermis is the outermost of the three layers that comprise the skin, the inner layers being the dermis and hypodermis. The epidermis layer provides a barrier to infection from environmental pathogens and regulates the amount of water relea ...
(with which it makes up the cutis) and
subcutaneous tissue The subcutaneous tissue (), also called the hypodermis, hypoderm (), subcutis, superficial fascia, is the lowermost layer of the integumentary system in vertebrates. The types of cells found in the layer are fibroblasts, adipose cells, and macro ...
s, that primarily consists of
dense irregular connective tissue Dense irregular connective tissue has fibers that are not arranged in parallel bundles as in dense regular connective tissue. Dense irregular connective tissue consists of mostly collagen fibers. It has less ground substance than loose connecti ...
and cushions the body from stress and strain. It is divided into two layers, the superficial area adjacent to the epidermis called the papillary region and a deep thicker area known as the reticular dermis.James, William; Berger, Timothy; Elston, Dirk (2005). ''Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology'' (10th ed.). Saunders. Pages 1, 11–12. . The dermis is tightly connected to the epidermis through a
basement membrane The basement membrane is a thin, pliable sheet-like type of extracellular matrix that provides cell and tissue support and acts as a platform for complex signalling. The basement membrane sits between epithelial tissues including mesothelium and ...
. Structural components of the dermis are
collagen Collagen () is the main structural protein in the extracellular matrix found in the body's various connective tissues. As the main component of connective tissue, it is the most abundant protein in mammals, making up from 25% to 35% of the whol ...
,
elastic fiber Elastic fibers (or yellow fibers) are an essential component of the extracellular matrix composed of bundles of proteins (elastin) which are produced by a number of different cell types including fibroblasts, endothelial, smooth muscle, and air ...
s, and extrafibrillar matrix.Marks, James G; Miller, Jeffery (2006). ''Lookingbill and Marks' Principles of Dermatology'' (4th ed.). Elsevier Inc. Page 8–9. . It also contains
mechanoreceptor A mechanoreceptor, also called mechanoceptor, is a sensory receptor that responds to mechanical pressure or distortion. Mechanoreceptors are innervated by sensory neurons that convert mechanical pressure into electrical signals that, in animals, ...
s that provide the sense of
touch In physiology, the somatosensory system is the network of neural structures in the brain and body that produce the perception of touch (haptic perception), as well as temperature (thermoception), body position (proprioception), and pain. It is ...
and
thermoreceptor A thermoreceptor is a non-specialised sense receptor, or more accurately the receptive portion of a sensory neuron, that codes absolute and relative changes in temperature, primarily within the innocuous range. In the mammalian peripheral nervous s ...
s that provide the sense of
heat In thermodynamics, heat is defined as the form of energy crossing the boundary of a thermodynamic system by virtue of a temperature difference across the boundary. A thermodynamic system does not ''contain'' heat. Nevertheless, the term is al ...
. In addition,
hair follicles The hair follicle is an organ found in mammalian skin. It resides in the dermal layer of the skin and is made up of 20 different cell types, each with distinct functions. The hair follicle regulates hair growth via a complex interaction between h ...
,
sweat glands Sweat glands, also known as sudoriferous or sudoriparous glands, , are small tubular structures of the skin that produce sweat. Sweat glands are a type of exocrine gland, which are glands that produce and secrete substances onto an epithelial sur ...
, sebaceous glands (oil glands), apocrine glands,
lymphatic vessels The lymphatic vessels (or lymph vessels or lymphatics) are thin-walled vessels (tubes), structured like blood vessels, that carry lymph. As part of the lymphatic system, lymph vessels are complementary to the cardiovascular system. Lymph vess ...
, nerves and
blood vessels The blood vessels are the components of the circulatory system that transport blood throughout the human body. These vessels transport blood cells, nutrients, and oxygen to the tissues of the body. They also take waste and carbon dioxide away f ...
are present in the dermis. Those blood vessels provide nourishment and waste removal for both dermal and epidermal cells.


Structure

The dermis is composed of three major types of
cells Cell most often refers to: * Cell (biology), the functional basic unit of life Cell may also refer to: Locations * Monastic cell, a small room, hut, or cave in which a religious recluse lives, alternatively the small precursor of a monastery w ...
:
fibroblasts A fibroblast is a type of biological cell that synthesizes the extracellular matrix and collagen, produces the structural framework ( stroma) for animal tissues, and plays a critical role in wound healing. Fibroblasts are the most common cells o ...
,
macrophages Macrophages (abbreviated as M φ, MΦ or MP) ( el, large eaters, from Greek ''μακρός'' (') = large, ''φαγεῖν'' (') = to eat) are a type of white blood cell of the immune system that engulfs and digests pathogens, such as cancer cell ...
, and
mast cells A mast cell (also known as a mastocyte or a labrocyte) is a resident cell of connective tissue that contains many granules rich in histamine and heparin. Specifically, it is a type of granulocyte derived from the myeloid stem cell that is a par ...
. Apart from these cells, the dermis is also composed of
matrix Matrix most commonly refers to: * ''The Matrix'' (franchise), an American media franchise ** ''The Matrix'', a 1999 science-fiction action film ** "The Matrix", a fictional setting, a virtual reality environment, within ''The Matrix'' (franchis ...
components such as
collagen Collagen () is the main structural protein in the extracellular matrix found in the body's various connective tissues. As the main component of connective tissue, it is the most abundant protein in mammals, making up from 25% to 35% of the whol ...
(which provides
strength Strength may refer to: Physical strength *Physical strength, as in people or animals * Hysterical strength, extreme strength occurring when people are in life-and-death situations *Superhuman strength, great physical strength far above human c ...
),
elastin Elastin is a protein that in humans is encoded by the ''ELN'' gene. Elastin is a key component of the extracellular matrix in gnathostomes (jawed vertebrates). It is highly elastic and present in connective tissue allowing many tissues in the bo ...
(which provides elasticity), and extrafibrillar matrix, an extracellular gel-like substance primarily composed of
glycosaminoglycans Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) or mucopolysaccharides are long, linear polysaccharides consisting of repeating disaccharide units (i.e. two-sugar units). The repeating two-sugar unit consists of a uronic sugar and an amino sugar, except in the cas ...
(most notably
hyaluronan Hyaluronic acid (; abbreviated HA; conjugate base hyaluronate), also called hyaluronan, is an anionic, nonsulfated glycosaminoglycan distributed widely throughout connective, epithelial, and neural tissues. It is unique among glycosaminoglyc ...
),
proteoglycans Proteoglycans are proteins that are heavily glycosylated. The basic proteoglycan unit consists of a "core protein" with one or more covalently attached glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chain(s). The point of attachment is a serine (Ser) residue to whi ...
, and
glycoproteins Glycoproteins are proteins which contain oligosaccharide chains covalently attached to amino acid side-chains. The carbohydrate is attached to the protein in a cotranslational or posttranslational modification. This process is known as glycos ...
.


Layers


Papillary dermis

The papillary dermis is the uppermost layer of the dermis. It intertwines with the
rete ridges Rete pegs (also known as rete processes or rete ridges) are the epithelial extensions that project into the underlying connective tissue in both skin and mucous membranes. In the epithelium of the mouth, the attached gingiva exhibit rete pegs, wh ...
of the epidermis and is composed of fine and loosely arranged collagen fibers. The papillary region is composed of loose
areolar connective tissue Loose connective tissue, sometimes called areolar tissue, is a cellular connective tissue with thin and relatively sparse collagen fibers. Its ground substance occupies more volume than the fibers do. It has a viscous to gel-like consistenc ...
. It is named for its fingerlike projections called ''papillae'' or ''dermal papillae'' specifically, that extend toward the epidermis and contain either terminal networks of
blood Blood is a body fluid in the circulatory system of humans and other vertebrates that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells, and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells. Blood in th ...
capillaries A capillary is a small blood vessel from 5 to 10 micrometres (μm) in diameter. Capillaries are composed of only the tunica intima, consisting of a thin wall of simple squamous endothelial cells. They are the smallest blood vessels in the body: ...
or tactile Meissner's corpuscles. File:Epidermis, papillary dermis and reticular dermis.png, Epidermis, papillary dermis and reticular dermis.


Dermal papillae

The dermal papillae (DP) (singular ''papilla'', diminutive of Latin ''papula'', 'pimple') are small, nipple-like extensions (or interdigitations) of the dermis into the
epidermis The epidermis is the outermost of the three layers that comprise the skin, the inner layers being the dermis and hypodermis. The epidermis layer provides a barrier to infection from environmental pathogens and regulates the amount of water relea ...
. At the surface of the skin in hands and feet, they appear as epidermal, papillary or friction ridges (colloquially known as
fingerprint A fingerprint is an impression left by the friction ridges of a human finger. The recovery of partial fingerprints from a crime scene is an important method of forensic science. Moisture and grease on a finger result in fingerprints on surfa ...
s). Blood vessels in the dermal papillae nourish all
hair follicle The hair follicle is an organ found in mammalian skin. It resides in the dermal layer of the skin and is made up of 20 different cell types, each with distinct functions. The hair follicle regulates hair growth via a complex interaction between h ...
s and bring nutrients and oxygen to the lower layers of epidermal cells. The pattern of ridges produced in hands and feet are partly genetically determined features that are developed before birth. They remain substantially unaltered (except in size) throughout life, and therefore determine the patterns of fingerprints, making them useful in certain functions of personal identification. The dermal papillae are part of the uppermost layer of the dermis, the papillary dermis, and the ridges they form greatly increase the surface area between the dermis and epidermis. Because the main function of the dermis is to support the epidermis, this greatly increases the exchange of oxygen, nutrients, and waste products between these two layers. Additionally, the increase in surface area prevents the dermal and epidermal layers from separating by strengthening the junction between them. With age, the papillae tend to flatten and sometimes increase in number. The skin of the hands and fingers and the feet and toes is known by forensic scientists as friction ridge skin. It is known by anatomists as thick skin, volar skin or hairless skin. It has raised ridges, a thicker and more complex epidermis, increased sensory abilities, and the absence of hair and sebaceous glands. The ridges increase friction for improved grasping. Dermal papillae also play a pivotal role in hair formation, growth and cycling. In
mucous membrane A mucous membrane or mucosa is a membrane that lines various cavities in the body of an organism and covers the surface of internal organs. It consists of one or more layers of epithelial cells overlying a layer of loose connective tissue. It is ...
s, the equivalent structures to dermal papillae are generally termed "connective tissue papillae", which interdigitate with the
rete pegs Rete pegs (also known as rete processes or rete ridges) are the epithelial extensions that project into the underlying connective tissue in both skin and mucous membranes. In the epithelium of the mouth, the attached gingiva exhibit rete pegs, wh ...
of the superficial epithelium. Dermal papillae are less pronounced in thin skin areas.


Reticular dermis

The reticular dermis is the lower layer of the dermis, found under the papillary dermis, composed of
dense irregular connective tissue Dense irregular connective tissue has fibers that are not arranged in parallel bundles as in dense regular connective tissue. Dense irregular connective tissue consists of mostly collagen fibers. It has less ground substance than loose connecti ...
featuring densely-packed collagen fibers. It is the primary location of dermal elastic fibers. The reticular region is usually much thicker than the overlying papillary dermis. It receives its name from the dense concentration of
collagenous Collagen () is the main structural protein in the extracellular matrix found in the body's various connective tissues. As the main component of connective tissue, it is the most abundant protein in mammals, making up from 25% to 35% of the whole ...
,
elastic Elastic is a word often used to describe or identify certain types of elastomer, elastic used in garments or stretchable fabrics. Elastic may also refer to: Alternative name * Rubber band, ring-shaped band of rubber used to hold objects togethe ...
, and
reticular fibers Reticular fibers, reticular fibres or reticulin is a type of fiber in connective tissue composed of type III collagen secreted by reticular cells. Reticular fibers crosslink to form a fine meshwork (reticulin). This network acts as a supportin ...
that weave throughout it. These protein fibers give the dermis its properties of
strength Strength may refer to: Physical strength *Physical strength, as in people or animals * Hysterical strength, extreme strength occurring when people are in life-and-death situations *Superhuman strength, great physical strength far above human c ...
, extensibility, and elasticity. Within the reticular region are the roots of the hair,
sebaceous glands A sebaceous gland is a microscopic exocrine gland in the skin that opens into a hair follicle to secrete an oily or waxy matter, called sebum, which lubricates the hair and skin of mammals. In humans, sebaceous glands occur in the greatest num ...
,
sweat glands Sweat glands, also known as sudoriferous or sudoriparous glands, , are small tubular structures of the skin that produce sweat. Sweat glands are a type of exocrine gland, which are glands that produce and secrete substances onto an epithelial sur ...
,
receptors Receptor may refer to: * Sensory receptor, in physiology, any structure which, on receiving environmental stimuli, produces an informative nerve impulse *Receptor (biochemistry), in biochemistry, a protein molecule that receives and responds to a ...
, nails, and blood vessels. The orientation of collagen fibers within the reticular dermis creates lines of tension called
Langer's lines Langer's lines, Langer lines of skin tension, or sometimes called cleavage lines, are topological lines drawn on a map of the human body. They are parallel to the natural orientation of collagen fibers in the dermis, and generally perpendicular to ...
, which are of some relevance in surgery and wound healing.


See also

*
List of cutaneous conditions Many skin conditions affect the human integumentary system—the organ system covering the entire surface of the body and composed of skin, hair, nails, and related muscle and glands. The major function of this system is as a barrier against ...
*
Epidermis The epidermis is the outermost of the three layers that comprise the skin, the inner layers being the dermis and hypodermis. The epidermis layer provides a barrier to infection from environmental pathogens and regulates the amount of water relea ...
* Subcutaneous layer


References

{{Authority control Skin anatomy Routes of administration