Epithelital cells

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Epithelial cells are that line the surfaces of parts of the body[1]. They are joined together in layers with one side exposed and the other is attached to a basement membrane[2].

Shapes

There are three main shapes of epithelial cells:

  1. Squamous- comes from the Latin word for scales and describes the appearance of the cells[3]. They can also be described as simple which refers to the fact that they are present in a single layer[4]. They are thin and flat which gives a short diffusion pathway for some exchange systems[5].
  2. Columnar- epithelial cells which are rectangular in shape and joined in rows creating this columnar appearance, making them harder to damage[6].
  3. Cuboidal- as the word suggests the cells are cuboid shapes, similar to the squamous epithelial cells except for the fact that they are not flat[7].

Where they are present in the body and their functions

Squamous epithelium are present in the lungs, blood vessels and kidneys[8]. In the lungs they form the structure of the alveoli, allowing carbon dioxide to be removed from the blood and oxygen to enter[8]. Their shape provides a short diffusion pathway which increases the efficiency of gas exchange[8]. In blood, they reduce friction and regulates blood pressure[8]. In the kidneys they allow a faster rate of filtration of the blood[8].

Columnar epithelium are present in bronchioles, intestines, stomach, endometrium, fallopian tubes and rectum[7]. They are present in these places order to help with secretion and absorption[7].

Cuboidal epithelium is present in the pancreas,bronchioles,kidney and various glands aiding in secretion, selective passage of materials and protection[7].

References

  1. Mosby's Medical Dictionary, the free dictionary by farlex, Epithelial cells, 2009, [cited 05/12/17]: Available from: https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/epithelial+cell
  2. Mosby's Medical Dictionary, the free dictionary by farlex, Epithelial cells, 2009, [cited 05/12/17]: Available from: https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/epithelial+cell
  3. Study.com, What is Simple Squamous Epithelium?, ND, [cited 5/12/17]: Available from: https://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-simple-squamous-epithelium.html
  4. Study.com, What is Simple Squamous Epithelium?, ND, [cited 5/12/17]: Available from: https://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-simple-squamous-epithelium.html
  5. Study.com, What is Simple Squamous Epithelium?, ND, [cited 5/12/17]: Available from: https://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-simple-squamous-epithelium.html
  6. Biology dictionary, Simple Columnar Epithelium, ND, [cited 05/12/17]: Available from: https://biologydictionary.net/simple-columnar-epithelium/
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Buzzle, Location, Structure, and Function of the Simple Cuboidal Epithelium, 2016, [cited 05/12/17], Available from: https://www.buzzle.com/articles/simple-cuboidal-epithelium-location-structure-and-function.html
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Leann Mikesh, livestrong.com, What Are the Functions of Simple Squamous Epithelial Cells?, 2017, [cited 05/12/17]: Available from: https://www.livestrong.com/article/521075-supplements-that-affect-platelet-count/
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