Epithelium and Connective Tissue,
Mucosa of Small Intestine
This image shows the simple columnar epithelium and loose connective tissue that form the surface of the small intestinal mucosa.
The epithelial tissue layer of the small intestine contains absorptive cells, which take in nutrients, and goblet cells, which secrete mucus. The epithelial surface forms many small projections, called villi, one of which occupies most of this image.
The connective tissue layer of this or any mucosal surface is called lamina propria. Lamina propria is a loose connective tissue with a relatively high proportion of cells. The defensive cells of the immune system are more numerous here, close to a vulnerable surface, than in ordinary loose connective tissue deeper in the body. Capillaries are usually abundant in lamina propria.
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SIUC / School
of Medicine / Anatomy / David
Last updated: 5 July 2002 / dgk