Cuboidal epithelium

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noun, plural: cuboidal epithelia

An epithelial tissue comprised of cuboidal epithelial cells, and is involved in secretory, absorptive, or excretory functions


The epithelial tissue (also called epithelium) is one of the different types of animal tissues. It is made up of one or more layers of cells closely packed together. It is primarily involved in protecting the underlying structures, secretion, regulation, and absorption. This tissue may be classified histologically according to the cell shape. The different types of epithelia based on the cell shape are: (1) squamous epithelium, (2) columnar epithelium, and (3) cuboidal epithelium.

The cuboidal epithelium is composed of epithelial cells that are distinctively cuboidal in shape. The cell comprising the cuboidal epithelium is approximately as wide as it is tall. It is therefore cube-like (thus, the name). When viewed from atop it appears square in shape. The nucleus is large and is usually found in the center of the cell.

The cuboidal epithelium may also be classified according to the number of layers that make it up. For example, a simple cuboidal epithelium is a type of cuboidal epithelium made up of a single layer of cuboidal cells. A stratified cuboidal epithelium is comprised of more than one layer of cuboidal cells.

Cuboidal epithelia can be found lining the collecting ducts of the kidney, the pancreas, the salivary gland, the sweat glands, and the mammary glands. They are also found covering the germinal linings of the ovary and the walls of the seminiferous tubules of the testes.

Also called:

  • cuboidal epithelial tissue

See also: