The purpose of this study has been to obtain information on the development of the envelop of horny cells that resists the action of keratinolytic agents. Toward this end the epidermis, oral mucosa, and tongue epithelium of various vertebrates, as well as the isolated envelopes of horny cells, were examined by electron microscopy. It was found that small cytoplasmic granules (1,000 to 5,000 A) that develop within differentiating epithelial cells move toward the cell periphery, and after fusion with the plasma membrane, empty their contents into the intercellular spaces. The content of the granules spreads over the cell surfaces, and subsequently a thickened and coated cell envelope is formed that resists the action of keratinolytic agent. The membrane-coating granule is regarded as a specific differentiation product of the keratinizing epithelium. It contains numerous inner membranes and is assumed to engage in synthetic activities such as, perhaps, the formation of polysaccharides.

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