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Simple epithelium

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Definition

noun, plural: simple epithelia

An epithelial tissue comprised of a single layer of epithelial cells that are in direct contact with the basement membrane, as seen those in the epithelial linings of the reproductive tract and the digestive tract


Supplement

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. The epithelium may be classified based on the number of layers that make it up. In particular, the epithelium may be simple or stratified.

A simple epithelium is an epithelial tissue made up of only one layer of epithelial cells. These cells are in direct contact with the basement membrane. And often the layer underneath the basement membrane is a connective tissue. The simple epithelium is primarily involved in absorption and filtration.

The simple epithelial tissue may be further classified histologically according to the shape of the cells that comprise it, i.e. squamous (scale-like), cuboidal (cube-like), or columnar (column-like). Examples of simple squamous epithelium include the linings of the pericardial, pleural, and peritoneal cavities. It is also seen in the endothelium and the alveoli of the lungs.


Also called:

  • simple epithelial tissue

See also:

Related term(s):