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July 1986

The Veil Cell: A Shy Cell

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology PO Box 697 University of Rochester 601 Elmwood Ave Rochester, NY 14642

Arch Dermatol. 1986;122(7):828-829. doi:10.1001/archderm.1986.01660190108029

It should delight dermatologists, extraordinary morphologists, that the cell is still central to understanding disease and normal function and that there are still cells in the skin without well-defined function. All are familiar with the Langerhans' cell, which is the antigen-presenting cell in the epidermis and part of the important afferent limb of the immune system. Two cells are standing in the wings, the epidermal Merkel cell and the dermal veil cell, trying to make it big like the Langerhans' cell. The Merkel cell, in addition to prominent granules, a regular distribution within the basal layer and tumors, has a catchy name and has been getting good exposure in the investigative and dermatopathologic literature; it doesn't need any further publicity.

I wish to concentrate on what appears to be a "shy" cell in the Garrison Keillor sense, the veil cell. (Garrison Keillor, contemporary US public radio personality hosting "A Prairie