Figure 3 vagina human HE x225

This is higher-magnification micrograph of the basal portion of the epithelium (Ep) between connective tissue papillae. Note the regularity and dense packing of the basal epithelial cells. They are the stem cells for the stratified squamous epithelium. Daughter cells of these cells migrate toward the surface and begin to accumulate glycogen and become less regularly arranged as they move towards the surface. The highly cellular connective (CT) tissue immediately beneath the basal layer (B) of the epithelium typically contains many lymphocytes (L). The number of lymphocytes varies with the stage of the ovarian cycle. Lymphocytes invade the epithelium around the time of menstruation and appear along with the epithelial cells in vaginal smears.

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