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Anatomy Atlases: Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 1 - Cells Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 2: Epithelial Tissue

Plate 2.24: Transitional Epithelium


Ronald A. Bergman, Ph.D., Adel K. Afifi, M.D., Paul M. Heidger, Jr., Ph.D.
Peer Review Status: Externally Peer Reviewed



Plate 2.24: Transitional Epithelium

Human, Helly's fluid, H. & E., 612 x.

The term transitional epithelium does not imply that this epithelium is in actual transition from one type to another, but rather refers to the appearance of the cells, which changes as the organs with which they are associated are stretched or relaxed.

Transitional epithelium (uroepithellum): This stratified epithelium is found lining the urinary tract from the renal calyces to the urethra. It is in direct continuity with the simple epithelium of the ducts and collecting tubules of the kidney and the stratified squamous epithelium of the urethra. Superficial cells are cuboidal and large, and the basal cells are cuboidal to columnar. The surface cells of this epithelium vary in shape from squamous when stretched to columnar when contracted. Note the convex luminal border of the surface cells. These cells may be multinucleated and polyploid.

Lamina propria: Predominantly reticular and collagenous connective tissue fibers with some elastic fibers. The lamina propria contains many cells, including lymphocytes, plasma cells, eosinophils, and mast cells, in addition to blood capillaries and lymphatic vessels.

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