Quiz 5: The Integumentary System

Biology

The general functions of the integumentary system include: • Protection of the internal organs and tissues from environmental elements such as infection as well as fluid loss • Maintenance of body temperature • The manufacturing of nutrients -the epidermis is responsible for the synthesis of vitamin D 3 , an essential vitamin for the absorption of calcium • The relaying of environmental stimuli such as pain, pressure and temperature via sensory receptors and • The excretion of bodily waste products and the secretion of nutrients , such as the excretion of salts, water and other organic wastes to the secretion of breast milk.

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There are 5 layers of the epidermis: • The stratum basale is the deepest epidermal layer. In the stratum basale are the basement membranes that separate the epidermis from the dermis as well as the dermal papillae, dermal projections that aid in the transfer of nutrients from the dermis to the epidermis. Basal cells, or large stem cells, that replace skin cells lost in the epidermis, are also located in the stratum basale. • In the stratum spinosum layer located above the stratum basale, divided skin cells add to the thickness of the epithelium, or the outer most layer of skin. • The layer above the stratum spinosum is the stratum granulosum layer, which consists of cells that are displaced from the stratum spinosum. • The skin cells in the stratum lucidum layer are heavily keratinized (fibrous protein that make up the skin), cover the stratum granulosum and are commonly found in the palms of hands and the soles of feet. • The stratum corneum is the outer most layer of the skin and the most exposed to environmental conditions. It contains approximately 15-30 layers of flattened or dead epithelial cells. The skin cells of the stratum corneum are also keratinized, but not as thick as those found in the stratum lucidum.

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