<cell biology> Specialised cell junction characteristic of epithelia into which intermediate filaments (tonofilaments of cytokeratin) are inserted. The gap between plasma membranes is of the order of 25-30nm and the intercellular space has a medial band of electron dense material. Desmosomes are particularly conspicuous in tissues such as skin that have to withstand mechanical stress.

Origin: Gr. Soma = body

(11 Mar 2008)