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Characterization of the human ridged and non-ridged skin: a comprehensive histological, histochemical and immunohistochemical analysis

  • Vela-Romera, A.1, 2
  • Carriel, V.1, 3
  • Martín-Piedra, M. A.1, 3
  • Aneiros-Fernández, J.4
  • Campos, F.1, 3
  • Chato-Astrain, J.1
  • Prados-Olleta, N.5, 6
  • Campos, A.1, 3
  • Alaminos, M.1, 3
  • Garzón, I.1, 3
  • 1 University of Granada, Tissue Engineering Group, Department of Histology, Faculty of Medicine, Avenida de la Investigación 11, Torre A, Planta 5, Granada, 18016, Spain , Granada (Spain)
  • 2 University of Granada, PhD Program in Biomedicine, Escuela de Posgrado, Granada, Spain , Granada (Spain)
  • 3 Instituto de Investigación Biosanitaria ibs.GRANADA, Granada, Spain , Granada (Spain)
  • 4 San Cecilio University Hospital, Department of Pathology, Granada, Spain , Granada (Spain)
  • 5 Virgen de las Nieves University Hospital, Orthopedic Surgery Department, Granada, Spain , Granada (Spain)
  • 6 University of Granada, Department of Surgery, Granada, Spain , Granada (Spain)
Published Article
Histochemistry and Cell Biology
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Publication Date
Aug 11, 2018
DOI: 10.1007/s00418-018-1701-x
Springer Nature


The structure of the human skin is directly dependent on its location and the mechanical forces to which it is subjected. In the present work, we have performed a comprehensive analysis of the human ridged and non-ridged skin to identify the differences and similarities between both skin types. For this purpose, human skin samples were obtained from dorsal hand skin (DHS), palmar hand skin (PHS), dorsal foot skin (DFS) and plantar foot skin (PFS) from the same cadaveric donors. Histological, histochemical and semiquantitative and quantitative immunohistochemical analyses were carried out to evaluate the epidermis, dermis and basement membrane. Results show that the epithelial layer of ridged skin had larger cell number and size than non-ridged skin for most strata. Melanocytes and Langerhans cells were more abundant in non-ridged skin, whereas Merkel cells were preferentially found in ridged skin. The expression pattern of CK5/6 was slightly differed between non-ridged and ridged skin. Involucrin expression was slightly more intense in non-ridged skin than in ridged skin. Collagen was more abundant in foot skin dermis than in hand skin, and in ridged skin as compared to non-ridged skin. Elastic fibers were more abundant in DHS. Biglycan was more abundant in foot skin than in hand skin. No differences were found for blood and lymphatic vessels. The basement membrane laminin was preferentially found in foot skin. These results revealed important differences at the epithelial, dermal and basement membrane levels that could contribute to a better knowledge of the human skin histology.

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