MICROSCAPE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MICROSCAPE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Light microscopy of the inner aspect of the vagina showing a thick keratinized stratified squamous epithelial surface layer. This specimen is from a primate and unlike the human the surface has a substantial depth of cornified (dead/keratin plaques) epithelial remnants which are exfoliated or cast off from the surface of the epithelium. This does not occur in the human to any significant extent. The overall depth and proliferative activity of the primate vaginal epithelium varies during the menstrual cycle depending on the species. The epithelium is interdigitated with the underlying dermis and helps to anchor the epithelium to resist wear and tear, typical of this type of epithelial surface. Magnification x18 when printed at 10 cm.
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