Deep layers of the epidermis Back

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The deepest, or most basal layer of the epithelium is the stratum basale. All of the cells present above this layer (to the right in this image) are in the stratum spinosum. Sometimes you can see spiny attachments between the cells in this layer, which are due to cell shrinkage while maintaining their multiple spot desmosome attachments. This spiney artifact is what gave the layer its name. Mitosis occurs in the stratum basale and the first few layers of the stratum spinosum. We collectively call this region the stratum germinativum. Melanocytes are responsible for the gold-brown pigment (melanin) in these cells.