Dynamics in the stratified epithelium.
A) Basal and parabasal cells can divide either asymmetrically (1 − p1 − p2 and 1 − q1 − q2 respectively) or symmetrically, which result in two daughter cells of either the same (p1 or q1) or different phenotype as the mother cell (p2 or q2). B) The squamous epithelium is abstracted into a basal, a parabasal, a mid-upper and a surface layer. Proliferation (ρ) and maturation (ν) rates determine the movement of cells up the layers. Cells die and are shed (μ). Chlamydia trachomatis (in green) infects the most superficial live cells underneath the mucus and surface dying cells. Once inside a cell, the elementary bodies (EB) change into reticulate bodies, which go through several rounds of replication, and then change back into EBs that are released upon cell death. Human papillomaviruses (in purple) must infect basal cells to establish an infection, thus usually requiring a microabrasion. The virus is non-lytic and replicates in host cells as they follow their natural life-cycle up the epithelium column. Progeny virions are released once the cell dies at the surface. Immune cells (in blue) enter the epithelium from the basal layer.