Colon, mucosa and submucosa
The mucosa of the colon is characterized by straight crypts with no villi.
When crypts are cut longitudinally (as near the right side of this image), the columns of lamina propria between the epithelium of adjacent crypts might be misinterpreted as villi. But note that the lumenal spaces within the crypts are uniformly narrow (when they are visible at all), not variable and often wide, as spaces between villi of the small intestine.
Also note that when the plane of section cuts across a crypt, the crypt appears to be surrounded by lamina propria. In contrast, when villi are cut across, they appear as isolated islands in the lumen.
Note the large number of goblet cells (clear "bubbles") in crypt epithelium.
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SIUC / School
of Medicine / Anatomy / David
Last updated: 14 February 2002 / dgk