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Anatomy Atlases: Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 1 - Cells Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 11 - Respiratory System

Plate 11.222 Pseudostratified Ciliated Epithelium

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

Basement membrane

Plate 11.222 Pseudostratified Ciliated Epithelium

Rhesus monkey, SUSA, AFT, 484 x


Epithelium: Pseudostratified ciliated columnar epithelium. The term pseudostratified refers to the appearance of the epithelium in section. Although the cells appear to be stratified because the nuclei are found in several layers, the basal portions of all cells are actually in contact with the basement membrane.

Cilia: These motile structures carry a carpet of mucus, which collects inhaled debris and takes it to the pharynx where it is either coughed out or swallowed.

Goblet cells: These non-ciliated mucus-secreting cells are seen in various stages of mucus synthesis and discharge.

Basement membrane: This common structure is thickest in the trachea, but wandering cells of the immune system can be found traversing the membrane. Other cells of the immune system are also seen at various levels of the epithelium.

Lamina propria: The lamina propria of the trachea is thin but contains small blood vessels and collagenous and elastic fibers.

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