PMID: 6987316Mar 1, 1980Paper

Morphology of corneocytes from human nail plates

The Journal of Investigative Dermatology
H GermannG Plewig


A technique is described which permits the isolation of individual corneocytes from the superficial layers of the human nail plates. Tesa-film D is used to strip off the cells. The tape is mounted on a glass slide, stained with a mixture of methylene blue and rhodamine B. The parameters were size (surface mu2), shape (regular, irregular), nuclear inclusions and trabeculae. Specimens were obtained from 3 groups of patients (finger- and toe nails): (1) 60 healthy subjects with normal nails, males and females, in 3 age-groups (babies, adults, aged); (2) 10 patients with fast growing nails with psoriasis vulgaris and psoriatic nail involvement; (3) 9 patients with slow growing nails with lichen planus with nail involvement including one patient with Zinser-Engman-Cole-syndrome (dyskeratosis congenita). The nail growth rate was determined with a dissecting microscope-technique. Corneocytes of the dorsal nail plates of normal nails are of irregular polyedrical shape, not nucleated and show distinct but irregular trabecular network. Within each age-group, corneocytes are of rather uniform size but increase significantly (p less than or equal to .001) with age (e.g., thumbin males: 597 vs. 920 vs. 1008 mu2). Accelerated nail plate grow...Continue Reading


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Cytological Techniques
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