The skin of the progeny of meat-fed rats differs in the majority of cases from that of animals bred on a bread-and-milk diet. In the latter the coats are thick and well nourished, while in the former there is evident coarseness and the hair is thin. In a very small percentage (one litter out of thirteen) the skin of meat-fed rats compared very favourably with that of the controls. The following investigation was undertaken to determine the microscopic appearances of the skin in young animals bred on the two diets. My observations have so far been confined to rats varying in age from one day to three weeks, twenty-eight being bred on bread and milk and thirty-seven on ox-flesh. Described briefly, the alteration in the skin is one of prolongation of the embryonic state in the meat-fed subjects.
The stratum corneum is less compact and more evidently in detachable layers.
The stratum granulosum shows no definite changes.
The stratum Malphigii shows in the normal bread-and-milk-fed rats a gradual condensation and consequent thinning as age advances; in the meat-fed rats the layers remain more or less swollen, the cells showing greater vacuolation and lessened staining capacity.
This cutis vera shows a more cellular structure in all the meat-fed rats.
The hair is distinctly less advanced in development in the meat-fed subjects.