Nevus cell maturation or atrophy?

Am J Dermatopathol. 1988 Feb;10(1):20-7. doi: 10.1097/00000372-198802000-00003.


Nevus cells show considerable variation in their appearance, depending on their localization in epidermis, upper dermis, or deep dermis. The difference in appearance of nevus cells when located superficially or in the deep dermis has been referred to as nevus cell "maturation." The aim of this study is to objectify morphological differences between nevus cells in epidermis, upper dermis, and deep dermis by means of a morphometric study at light- and electron microscopic levels. The results show that there is a decrease in number and size of all structures except for mitochondria and microfilaments. These findings are consistent with atrophy. The concepts of maturation, differentiation, and atrophy are also discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Atrophy / pathology
  • Cell Nucleus / ultrastructure
  • Cytoplasm / ultrastructure
  • Epidermis / pathology
  • Epidermis / ultrastructure
  • Humans
  • Melanocytes / pathology
  • Melanocytes / ultrastructure
  • Nevus / pathology*
  • Nevus / ultrastructure
  • Organelles / ultrastructure
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / ultrastructure