Epidermal cells which synthesise keratin and undergo characteristic changes as they move upward from the basal layers of the epidermis to the cornified (horny) layer of the skin. Successive stages of differentiation of the keratinocytes forming the epidermal layers are basal cell, spinous or prickle cell, and the granular cell.
The principal cells of the epidermis. Keratinocytes form in the basal layer and migrate upward to form the stratum corneum. They are eventually shed through exfoliation in one skin cycle (approximately 6 weeks or one skin cycle).
Major cells of the epidermis which produce keratin (from the Greek KERAS, KERASTOS, horn), a highly resistant, fibrous protein and major constituent of epidermal cells. This cell is called a horny cell, when it is filled with keratin.