Simple columnar epithelium of the digestive tract is characterized by a single layer of tall, slender cells that are arranged in a column-like pattern. These cells are typically joined together by tight junctions, which help to form a barrier to the passage of substances between cells. The cells also contain numerous microvilli, which increase the surface area of the cells and help to absorb nutrients. In addition, the cells contain many mitochondria and other organelles that are involved in the digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Simple columnar epithelium
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Simple columnar epithelium is a single layer of columnar epithelial cells which are tall and slender with oval-shaped nuclei located in the basal region, attached to the basement membrane. In humans, simple columnar epithelium lines most organs of the digestive tract including the stomach, and intestines. Simple columnar epithelium also lines the uterus.
Simple columnar epithelium is further divided into two categories: ciliated and non-ciliated (glandular). The ciliated part of the simple columnar epithelium has tiny hairs which help move mucus and other substances up the respiratory tract.
The shape of the simple columnar epithelium cells are tall and narrow giving a column like appearance. the apical surfaces of the tissue face the lumen of organs while the basal side faces the basement membrane. the nuclei are located closer along the basal side of the cell.
Absorptive columnar epithelium is characterized as having a striated boarder on its apical side, this border is made up of non-motile microvilli allowing for increase surface area for absorption. these are known as ciliated columnar epithelium.
Simple Columnar Epithelium is made up of Glandular Goblet cells which secrete mucins to form mucin. the rest of the cell is made up of cytoplasm with membrane bound secretory granules which secrete the mucin, and are found towards the apical surface of the cell.
Transverse section of a villus, from the human intestine. X 350.
a. Basement membrane, here somewhat shrunken away from the epithelium.
c. Columnar epithelium.
d. Its striated border.
e. Goblet cells.
f. Leucocytes in epithelium.
f’. Leucocytes below epithelium.
g. Blood vessels.
h. Muscle cells cut across.
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– Simple columnar epithelium
– Columnar epithelium
– Single layer epithelium
– Ciliated columnar epithelium
– Non-ciliated columnar epithelium
– Goblet cells
– Intestinal epithelium
– Gastrointestinal tract
– Mucous cells
– Secretory cells
– Basal lamina
– Tight junctions
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