Epithelial cells comprise a wide range of cells that share specific characteristics; found in the shape of tissues that are basically covering all of the body outer surfaces, the outer surfaces of organs and line the inner surfaces of organs. These cells originate from the embryonic cells layers, and with the growing of the embryo; differentiate into several types; each has its own defining characteristics, location and function. This paper is concerned with discussing one particular type of the epithelial cells; the intestinal epithelial cells. The main features related to the intestinal epithelial cells will be highlighted here; their classification, description, location, contact to the surrounding tissues, the organelles, relation to the intestines function and their specific functions. Finally, a comparison between the cells and similar cells in other organs will be shown.
Classification and Description
Generally, epithelial cells are classified according to the shape of the cell as well to the number of layers they consist in their tissue. Accordingly, the intestinal epithelial cells are classified as: simple columnar epithelial single layered cells.
The cell columnar rectangular elongated shape is reflected on the shape and position of the nucleus; elongated and positioned near the cell’s base.
The intestinal epithelial cells together with adjacent similar cells form the intestinal epithelium; a single layered columnar tissue located in both large and small intestines. The epithelium forms the lining of the intestines and together with the lamina propria and the muscularis mucosae; compose the intestinal mucosa layer.