Comparative Photomicrographic Examination of Integument From Eight Species of Mammals Including Two Lineages of Research Miniswine


Brown, L., Kim, D.Y., Hanks, C., Schnapp, S., Brocksmith, D., White, D., Stricker-Krongrad, A., Liu, J., Bouchard, G.F.


Introduction: Skin is the largest organ in the body. Animals have skin which is generally similar
to human skin, however, species specific anatomical and biochemical differences exist. The integument
of animal models may vary in skin surface topography, overall thickness and thickness
of specific layers, stratum corneum, epidermis, dermis density and collagen content, regional
blood flow, pelage (hair count), hair follicle size or density, and sub-dermal characteristics. Determination
of which animal model most closely matches the skin of humans is important for
translational dermal research.

Objective/Rationale: Prepare magnified images of comparative skin histology and perform simple
image analysis for differences or similarities.

Methods: Animal skin samples collected included Yucatan miniswine, Hanford miniswine, Cynomolgus
monkey, Beagle dog, NZW rabbit, Hartley guinea pig, Sprague-Dawley rat, and CD-1
mouse. The human skin was acquired from a medical school. Samples were fixed in neutral
buffered formalin, processed, sectioned, stained with H&E, examined by microscope and photographed
by veterinary dermatopathologist (DYK). The resulting skin images generated by Olympus
MicroSuiteTM were compared side-by-side at equivalent magnification.

Results: Visual comparison of images suggest the skin of swine and human look the most similar
while the skin of rodents (rat, mouse) has a much thinner epidermis. The skin of rabbit and
guinea pig appear to consist predominantly of hair shafts/hair follicles combined with thin epidermis.
Monkey and dog skin were next most similar to the human skin.

Conclusion(s): The swine (Yucatan & Hanford) skin images are visually most like those of the
human images.

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