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epithelium[ep″ĭ-the´le-um] (pl. epithe´lia) (Gr.)
the cellular covering of internal and external surfaces of the body, including the lining of vessels and other small cavities. It consists of cells joined by small amounts of cementing substances. Epithelium is classified into types on the basis of the number of layers deep and the shape of the superficial cells.
ciliated epithelium epithelium bearing vibratile, hairlike processes (cilia) on its free surface.
columnar epithelium epithelium whose cells are of much greater height than width.
cuboidal epithelium epithelium whose cells are of approximately the same height and width, and appear square in transverse section.
germinal epithelium thickened peritoneal epithelium covering the gonad from earliest development; formerly thought to give rise to germ cells.
glandular epithelium that composed of secreting cells.
pigmentary epithelium (pigmented epithelium) that made of cells containing granules of pigment.
sense epithelium (sensory epithelium) neuroepithelium (def. 1).
simple epithelium that composed of a single layer of cells.
squamous epithelium that composed of flattened platelike cells.
stratified epithelium epithelium made up of cells arranged in layers.
transitional epithelium a type characteristically found lining hollow organs, such as the urinary bladder, that are subject to great mechanical change due to contraction and distention; originally thought to represent a transition between stratified squamous and columnar epithelium.
Plural of epithelium.
A plural of epithelium.
Plural of epithelium.
epithelium(ep?i-the'le-um) ('le-a) plural.epithelia [ epi- + Gr. thele, nipple, teat + -ium (2)]
The layer of cells forming the epidermis of the skin and the surface layer of mucous and serous membranes. The cells rest on a basement membrane and lie in close approximation with little intercellular material between them. They are devoid of blood vessels. The epithelium may be simple, consisting of a single layer, or stratified, consisting of several layers. Cells making up the epithelium may be flat (squamous), cube-shaped (cuboidal), or cylindrical (columnar). Modified forms of epithelium include ciliated, pseudostratified, glandular, and neuroepithelium. The epithelium may include goblet cells, which secrete mucus. Stratified squamous epithelium may be keratinized for a protective function or abnormally keratinized in pathological response. Squamous epithelium is classified as endothelium, which lines the blood vessels and the heart, and mesothelium, which lines the serous cavities. Epithelium serves the general functions of protection, absorption, and secretion, and specialized functions such as movement of substances through ducts, production of germ cells, and reception of stimuli. Its ability to regenerate is excellent; it may replace itself as frequently as every 24 hr. See: illustration; skinepithelial (-al), adjective
Epithelium with hairlike processes on the surface that wave actively only in one direction. This type is present in the respiratory tract and fallopian tubes.
Epithelium composed of cylindrical cells.
Epithelium consisting of cube-shaped or prismatic cells with height about equal to their width.
1. Epithelium that covers the surface of the genital ridge of the urogenital folds of an embryo. It gives rise to the seminiferous tubules of the testes and the surface layer of the ovary. It was once thought to produce the germ cells (spermatozoa and ova).
2. The epithelium that covers the surface of a mature mammalian ovary.
Epithelium consisting of secretory cells.
A band of nonkeratinized stratified squamous epithelium that attaches both to the gingiva (on one side) and the crown of the tooth (on the other). Synonym: epithelial attachment; gingival cuff
laminated epitheliumStratified epithelium.
Squamous epithelium that lines the subarachnoid and subdural cavities, the chambers of the eye, and the perilymphatic spaces of the ear.
Epithelium consisting of flat, platelike cells in a single layer.
Epithelium containing pigment granules.
Epithelium in which the bases of cells rest on the basement membrane but the distal ends of some do not reach the surface. Their nuclei lie at different levels, giving the appearance of stratification.
reduced enamel epithelium
Combined epithelial layers of the enamel organ, which form a protective layer over the enamel crown as it erupts and then become the primary epithelial attachment surrounding the tooth.
The flat form of epithelial cells.
Epithelium with the cells in layers; mitosis takes place in the lowest layer. Synonym: laminated epithelium
The nonkeratinized epithelium that lines the gingival sulcus.
A form of stratified epithelium in which the cuboidal cells adjust to mechanical changes such as stretching and recoiling. This type of tissue is found only in the urinary system (renal pelvis, ureter, bladder, and a part of the urethra).