Stratification and Differentiation of the Developing Epidermis

Key concept

Two developmental pathways are proceeding simultaneously in the early epidermis, stratification and differentiation. As new keratinocyte layers are formed (stratification), the cells within those layers are also acquiring new properties characteristic of their location within the epidermis (differentiation). In the fully developed epidermis, the stratification developmental pathway is turned off; the only operating developmental pathway is that of differentiation, that is, the coordinated spatial and temporal maturation of keratinocytes as they pass upwards through the epidermis to the cornified cell layer.

Stratification (Bullet Summary)

To see how the pathways develop and to study the morphologic changes click on one of the buttons below:

calendar iconWeek 2
calendar iconWeek 5
calendar iconWeek 9
calendar iconWeek 12
calendar iconWeek 15
calendar iconWeek 24