Single modified cilia displayed by cells of human internal stratifed epithelia (oral cavity, vagina)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Serial sections of human vaginal and keratinized oral-gingival epithelia were investigated for ciliary structures. Most melanocytes of the gingival epithelium lacked cilia, whereas almost all basal keratinocytes of the deeper portion of the epithelial ridges possessed one cilium each. In the suprabasal layers of the ridges only a few keratinocytes exhibited a single cilium. In the basal layer, at the top of the connective tissue papillae, approximately every second keratinocyte displayed a single cilium. In the suprabasal layers above the ridges no ciliated keratinocytes were observed. The basal cells of the vaginal epithelium were endowed with cilia, while cilia were absent from the suprabasal cells. In the human forearm epidermis most melanocytes and keratinocytes are supplied with a single cilium; it has been suggested that they may play a role in light reception. However, the widespread occurrence of 9 + 0 cilia in epithelial cells of internal epithelia and their coincidence with the sites of renewal of keratinocytes suggests that a relationship may exist between solitary cilia and mitotic activity.


External organisations
  • Lund University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Zoology


  • Oral-gingival epithelium , Human, Vaginal epithelium
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-241
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Publication statusPublished - 1988
Publication categoryResearch