ALTHOUGH the presence of pigment-forming dendritic cells in the epidermis of man has been generally accepted, their origin, contour, mode of division, and role in formation of pigment have been the subject of controversy for more than a century. Bloch,1 Peck,2 Miescher,3 Ormsby and Montgomery,4 and others have assumed that the basal cells had the ability to produce melanin and that the basal cells developed dendrites following an appropriate stimulus. More recently, Masson,5 Becker Sr.6 and others have supported the concept that dendritic cells of the human epidermis are a specific cell type which may originate from the neural crest as do the pigment-forming cells of lower animals.
There has not been a universally accepted term for melanin-producing cells, especially those in the epidermis. It will be shown that these dendritic branched cells make up a syncytium at the level of the basal layer
BECKER SW, FITZPATRICK TB, MONTGOMERY H. HUMAN MELANOGENESIS: CYTOLOGY AND HISTOLOGY OF PIGMENT CELLS (MELANODENDROCYTES). AMA Arch Derm Syphilol. 1952;65(5):511–523. doi:10.1001/archderm.1952.01530240003001
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