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Eye, lens

The lens is basically two layers of epithelium.  In the front (i.e., toward the cornea) is a simple cuboidal epithelium.  Behind that is an extremely exaggerated simple columnar epithelium.  Each of the columnar cells extends across the entire thickness of the lens and constitutes a lens fiber, packed with lens protein.  Because the lens fibers are so extremely long, this organization can be difficult to visualize microscopically in a mature lens, except at the radial margin of the lens (as shown above). 

It is easier to appreciate the pattern in an embryonic eye, where the lens forms as a "bubble" of epithelium.  The front layer matures as a simple cuboidal epithelium, while the back layer matures into the lens fibers.

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Comments and questions: dgking@siu.edu

SIUC / School of Medicine / Anatomy / David King

http://www.siumed.edu/~dking2/ssb/EE011b.htm
Last updated:  30 November 2004 / dgk