Six keratinising epithelia in the beagle have been studied using conventional histology and fluorescence methods to identify the nature of the keratin present. Three patterns of differentiation were identified, those present in areas of hairy skin, the foot pad and the tongue and nasal tip. In the first group, the epidermis is generally thin and exhibits a low mitotic rate but the keratin formed is mature. In the foot pad and tongue, which are examples of pressure keratinisation, the epidermis is appreciably thicker because of the presence of a phospholipid-rich cornified layer. A third form of keratinisation is seen in the nasal tip and in regions of the tongue, characterised by parakeratotic changes, high phospholipid accumulation and other features reported previously in keratinising epithelia subject to prolonged hydration.
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