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Epithelia Notes

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This is an extract of our Epithelia document, which we sell as part of our Organisation of the Body Notes collection written by the top tier of Oxford students.

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Epithelia Define: planar sheets of cells that are held together by tight junctions, adherens, desmosomes, gap junctions and are associated with connective tissue. The epithelium supported on the basal side by a basement membrane called the basal lamina which the epithelial cells synthesise. Basement membrane, made up type 4 collagen and give epithelia structural integrity. Below the basal lamina lies the capillary bed, which provides epithelia with required nutrients and disposal of waste. The nucleus in epithelial cell is found closer to the basal surface than the apical surface Found
-lining all surfaces of the body, line cavities, vessels
-act as interfaces between different compartments in the body
-line the internal and external surfaces of the body
-sepearte the external environment from the internal milieu
-major functional component of organs
-mediate selective transfer of substances Functions of epithelial tissue
-seperate the internal and external environment
-selective diffusion, absorption, secretion and protection
-regulate the movement of solutes and water to and from the body
-skin, linings of the repiratory tract, alimentary canal and kidney tubules 1) Boundary and protection
-cover the inner and outer lining of body cavities- stomach and urinary tract
-barrier to contaminants
-cells replicate often to replace to damaged or dead cells- skin 2) Sensory function
- Epithelial cells are avascular but are innervated- signals for sensory transduction 3) Vectorial transport and absorptive function- intestinal epithelia
-ability to translocate ions from one compartment to another- unidirectional transport

-achieved by the asymmetry of cell membranes at the two faces- cell is polarised- apical and basolateal membranes
- Active transport of sodium ions
- Ussing model o Sodium concentration is kept low by the basolateral Na-K ATPase o Na ions move down the electrochemical gradient into the cell via the apical membrane o Transepithelial movement of Na ions leaves the lumen negative with respect to the contraluminal side- couple the influx with other molecules such as glucose
- Basolateral membranes o Na-K ATPase o K leak channels = high permeability to potassium ions o Low permeability to Na o Ca ATPase
- Apical membranes o Have a high Pna, sodium channels

4) Tight and leaky epithelia
- It tight epithelia, tight junctions prevent significant movement between cells
- In leaky epithelia, tight junctions form imperfect seals, low resistance, leak pathway shunt for ions and water

5) Secretion -Glands
- Some epithelial cells- goblet cells secrete fluids o -basal region attached to the basement membrane, filled with membrane bound secretory droplets to lubricate the cell surfacerespiratory tract and small intestine
-exocrine and endocrine glands are formed by downgrowths of epithelium into the connective tissue
- Exocrine glands retian their connection with surface epithelium
- Endocrine glands glands whose connection with the surface is lost during development- ductless, secretions are picked up and transported to their site of action by the blood stream
- Pancreas- Endocrine- islet of langerhans
- Secretory epithelia- lungs and pancreas- active transport of CL- Chloride ions enter the epithelial cells via the basolateral membrane - chloride ions accumulate within the cell and exite passively through chloride ion channels. The exit of chloride ions sets up a diffusion potential across the membrane= lumen negative 6) Movement
- Some epithelial cells have cilia aid in moving substances

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