Search databaseBooksAll DatabasesAssemblyBiocollectionsBioProjectBioSampleBioSystemsBooksClinVarConserved DomainsdbGaPdbVarGeneGenomeGEO DataSetsGEO ProfilesGTRHomoloGeneIdentical Protein Internet CatalogNucleotideOMIMPMCPopSetProteinProtein ClustersProtein Family ModelsPubChem BioAssayPubChem CompoundPubChem SubstancePubMedSNPSRAStructureTaxonomyToolKitToolKitAllToolKitBookgh Bookshelf. A organization of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

You are watching: What is the most common connective tissue fiber found in the dermis

StatPearls . Treacertain Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-.



The dermis is a connective tproblem layer sandwiched between the epidermis and also subcutaneous tworry. The dermis is a fibrous structure composed of collagen, elastic tconcern, and other extracellular components that consists of vasculature, nerve endings, hair follicles, and also glands. The function of the dermis is to support and also safeguard the skin and deeper layers, help in thermoregulation, and help in sensation. Fibroblasts are the major cells within the dermis, yet histiocytes, mast cells, and also adipocytes also play vital duties in maintaining the normal framework and also feature of the dermis.  


The dermis is a connective tworry layer of mesenchymal origin located deep to the epidermis and superficial to the subcutaneous fat layer.<1> The composition of the dermis is mainly fibrous, consisting of both collagen and elastic fibers. Between the fibrous components lies an amorphous extracellular "ground substance" containing glycosaminoglycans, such as hyaluronic acid, proteoglycans, and glycoproteins. 

The dermis is split into two layers: the papillary dermis and also the reticular dermis. The papillary dermis is the superficial layer, lying deep to the epidermis. The papillary dermis is created of loose connective tconcern that is very vascular. The reticular layer is the deep layer, developing a thick layer of thick connective tissue that constitutes the bulk of the dermis. 

Collagen is the major component of the dermis. Specifically, kind I and kind III collagen are discovered in abundance. Elastic fibers also play a vital structural function within the dermis. Elastic fibers are written of elastin and also fibrillin microfibrils. In contrast to collagen, the biochemical configuration of elastin allows for gliding, extending, and also recoiling of fibers.<2> The reticular dermis comprises thick elastic fibers. Two subtypes of elastic fibers are worth even more discussion: elaunin and also oxytalan fibers<3>. Elaunin fibers are horizontally arranged elastic fibers discovered close to the junction of the papillary and also reticular dermis. Oxytalan fibers are perpendicular elastic fibers discovered in the papillary dermis.<4>

The dermis residences blood vessels, nerve endings, hair follicles, and glands. There are many kind of cell forms found within the connective tissue of the dermis, including fibroblasts, macrophperiods, adipocytes, mast cells, Schwann cells, and stem cells.<5> Fibroblasts are the primary cell of the dermis. Mast cells are commonly found surrounding dermal capillaries.


Skin Support and also Protection

The structure of the dermis gives a connective tissue framework for toughness, adaptability, and defense of the deeper anatomical frameworks. Collagen and extracellular components choose hyaluronic acid fortify the skin and facilitate an anchor for the epidermis via hemidesmosomes and also other adhesive basement membrane zone (BMZ) components.<6> Oxytalan fibers might likewise play a function in anchoring the epidermis. Elastic tproblem also helps support the skin and also provide adaptability. The blood vessels in the dermis are crucial for maintenance of the epidermis and also epidermal appendages. Nutrients via blood assistance the epidermis, hair follicles, and sweat glands. The vascular network further permits the dermis to organize an inflammatory response via recruitment of neutrophils, lymphocytes, and other inflammatory cells. The dermal blood supply also plays a role in temperature regulation discussed below. 


Vasoenergetic dermal vessels control body temperature. Specialized frameworks referred to as glomus bodies also take component in thermoregulation via AV shunt formation.<7> Glomus bodies are complexes of glomus cells, vessels, and also smooth muscle cells that predominate in the digits, palms, and also soles.<8> Although frequently within the dermis, eccrine sweat glands are ectoderm-acquired epidermal appenderas that invaginate right into the deeper tproblem of the dermis and subcutaneous layer.<9> 


Several mechanoreceptors are current in the dermis. Nerve endings in the dermis surround hair follicles. These nerve endings feeling hair motion and act as mechanoreceptors permitting sensation to extend past the skin"s surchallenge. Deep press receptors also exist. Pacinian corpuscles are huge, lamellar, ovoid structures discovered in the deep dermis and they provide deep pressure and also vibratory sensation. Meissner"s corpuscles, located in the dermal papillae of the papillary dermis, respond to low-frequency stimuli. Meissner"s corpuscles are concentrated in glabrous (hairless) skin.<10> 

Cells of the Dermis and Their Function

The dermis has many type of cell kinds. Fibroblasts, the primary cell of the dermis, take care of the synthesis of collagen, elastic and also reticular fibers, and extracellular matrix material. Histiocytes are tconcern macropheras present within the connective tproblem that assist the immune mechanism. Mast cells are inflammatory cells located in the perivascular locations of the dermis. Mast cells secrete vasoenergetic and proinflammatory mediators important in inflammatory reactions, collagen remodeling, and also wound healing.<11> Dermal adipocytes are a unique cell population from the subcutaneous adipose tworry. Dermal adipocytes not only provide insulation and also power storage but likewise help in hair follicle rejuvenation and wound healing.<12><13>

Tproblem Preparation

The dermis is examined utilizing a typical skin biopsy. The tproblem sample need to first be fixated through formalin to preserve tissue framework. After fixation, the specimen is dehydrated via an alcohol (e.g., ethanol) to remove water. The alcohol agent is then cleared using xylol. After, the tproblem sample is embedded in paraffin. After hardening of the paraffin medium, a microtome slices the specimales. The tconcern specimen may be stained according to hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining protocols. 

Histochemisattempt and Cytochemistry

Immunofluorescence of tworry samples is a vital diagnostic tool in autoimmune blistering conditions such as bullous pemphigoid and dermatitis herpetiformis. For example, linear deposition of immunoglobulin G (IgG) and complement (C3) alengthy the dermoepidermal junction is characteristic of bullous pemphigoid. Granular deposits of IgA in the dermal papillae is characteristic of dermatitis herpetiformis.<14>

Microscopy Light

Light microscopic analysis of H&E-stained samples delineates the epidermis, dermis, and also subcutaneous adipose. The epidermis is easily visualized because of the visibility of basophilic keratinocytes. Scanning throughout the tconcern sample, one have the right to appreciate the alternating dermal papillae and also rete ridges. Dermal papillae are the protrusions of dermal connective tconcern right into the epidermal layer. Rete ridges are the extensions of epidermis right into the dermal layer. This undulating pattern is more apparent in thick skin of the hands and palms. Tright here is no clear line of distinction between the papillary and also reticular dermis. Collagen trends are greatly horizontal throughout. The superficial papillary dermis possesses thinner elastic fibers compared to the thicker elastic fibers of the reticular dermis. The papillary dermis is composed of loose connective tissue (LCT) and is very vascular. The reticular dermis mirrors thick collagen bundles and develops the mass of the dermal layer.

Hair follicles, glands, and ducts have the right to be checked out throughout the epidermis, dermis, and also hypodermis. Higher magnification view deserve to further identify sebaceous, apocrine, and eccrine sweat glands. Meissner"s corpuscles and Pacinian corpuscles deserve to likewise be distinguiburned upon light microscopy. Pacinian corpuscles in the deep dermis or hypodermis have an onion-like appearance on cross-sectional views. Meissner corpuscles are checked out in the dermal papillae as oblong frameworks via neurons in a spiral orientation surrounded by a fibrous capsule.<10> 

Polarizing light microscopy is useful in the diagnosis of depositional conditions such as amyloidosis and gout. Tissue samples, stained via Congo red dye, may be examined under polarized light, creating a characteristic apple-green birefringence of protein deposits in amyloidosis.<15> Similarly, polarized light microscopy is offered to distinguish urate crystal and also calcium deposition.<16>

Microscopy Electron

Electron microscopy (EM) can be used to visualize the ultrastructural features of the skin. Most importantly, EM has been provided to visualize the basement membrane zone of the dermoepidermal junction. EM mirrors ultrastructural components of hemidesmosomes, the lamina lucida (LL), the lamina densa (LD), and also various anchoring fibrils.<17>


There are countless conditions that affect the skin. The complying with conversation describes some widespread and unwidespread diseases that impact the dermis. This discussion is not all-inclusive however demonstprices the prominence of understanding the normal framework and also attribute of the 

Genetic diseases have the right to influence dermal framework and attribute. Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is a team of hereditary connective tissue disorders resulted in by miscellaneous mutations in collagen. The mutations in dermal collagen lead to skin hypermobility and also fragility. Osteogenesis imperfecta is a genetic disorder of type I collagen bring about decreased dermal collagen and impaired skin elasticity.<18> Marfan"s syndrome is an additional genetic condition brought about by a defect in the FBN1 gene encoding fibrillin-1 protein. While skin complaints are not compelled for diagnosis, patients are susceptible to the advance of striae distensae (stretch marks) because of rapid growth phases in adolescence.<19> These three hereditary disorders, together with other inherited illness, may rarely reason reenergetic elastosis perforans serpingosa, in which transepithelial elimicountry of elastic fibers manifests clinically as papules in an annular or serpiginous pattern.<20> 

Cushing"s syndrome, chronic glucocorticoid usage, and also pregnancy are various other conditions resulting in striae distensae. Glucocorticoids inhibit fibroblasts, for this reason disrupting the synthesis of collagen and ECM product. Histology of striae distensae reveals flattening of the epidermis via loss of rete ridges and alters in the design of collagen bundles coupled with elastin degeneration throughout the dermis.<21> 

The overactivity of fibroblasts have been implicated in many skin-associated diseases. Myofibroblasts, expressing alpha-smooth muscle actin (a-SMA), have actually been implicated in both hypertrophic scars and keloids.<22><23> A careful histopathological examination is compelled to identify among keloids, hypertrophic scars, dermatofibromas, dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans, and scleroderma because of comparable histopathologic findings.<24> Lichen sclerosis is an inflammatory disorder involving abnormal fibroblast function in the papillary dermis, causing fibrosis of the superficial dermis and also epidermis.<25> Acanthosis nigricans outcomes from enhanced expansion element receptor signaling leading to proliferation of epidermal keratinocytes and dermal fibroblasts, resulting in hyperkeratosis and papillomatosis ("peaks and also valleys") on histopathology.<26><27> Researchers have actually additionally observed persistent activation of fibroblasts in the dermis in morphea and also nephrogenic systemic fibrosis.<28>

Aging and chronic sun exposure can undermine the dermis. Solar elastosis is due to chronic ultraviolet (UV) radiation expocertain, leading to damage to elastic fibers. Histology reveals basophilic degeneration of elastic fibers in the dermis.<29> The reduction of connective tissue in aging, typically through concomitant UV damages, reasons actinic purpura (i.e., senile purpura) wbelow the dermis cannot support its vasculature. As an outcome, minor trauma have the right to bring about extravasation of blood.<30> Similar manifestations might be seen in chronic glucocorticoid individuals. Glomus tumors can additionally happen within the dermis and deeper tworries, specifically within the digits and palms wbelow glomus bodies are concentrated.<31>

Urticaria is an inflammatory dermatosis identified by vascular hyperpermeability, resulting in superficial dermal edema with resultant lymphatic dilation. The pathogenesis of urticaria regularly involves degranulation of mast cells and IgE-dependent pathmethods however is not true for all instances.<32> Mastocytosis describes a spectrum of rare conditions entailing a boost in mast cells within the skin and also various other organs. Urticaria pigmentosa is the many common cutaneous develop of mastocytosis and predominately occurs in childhood.<33> Granulomatous illness such as sarcoidosis, granuloma annulare, necrobiosis lipoidica, and mycobacterial infections (tuberculosis, leprosy) involve histiocytes within the dermis. Mycobacterium leprae infects Schwann cells of peripheral nerves leading to diminimelted or missing cutaneous sensation in leprosy.<34> Lymphocytic infiltration of the dermis causes diseases such as polymorphous light eruption, a common photosensitive dermatosis.<35> Cutaneous manifestations of hematologic malignancy, such as leukemia cutis, also involve leukocytic infiltration into the skin layers. Sweet syndrome is a rare condition linked via neutrophilia and neutrophilic infiltration into the reticular dermis.<36> Other disorders involve the deposition of international product within the dermis, such as cholesterol in xanthelasma and protein fibrils in amyloidosis.<37>

Burns and ulcers are essential to take into consideration as the depth of burn or wound involvement affects patient diagnosis and monitoring. Partial-thickness burns, also well-known as second-level burns, damage the epidermis and also extend right into the dermis.

See more: How Long, On Average, Does A Snail Sleep? ? Can Snails Really Sleep For 3 Years

<38> Similarly, Stage II push ulcers, as defined by the NPUAP, disclose the dermis.<39>