Stratified Squamous Epithelium: Definition, Types, and Examples

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What is Stratified Squamous Epithelium?

A stratified squamous epithelium is a stratified epithelium with squamous (flattened and scale-like) epithelial cells in the top layer. Cuboidal or columnar cells may be seen in the deeper layers. Some stratified squamous epithelia are extensively keratinized, whereas others are keratinized either minimally or not at all.

Keratin is generated by keratinocytes, a highly specialised kind of epithelial cell. Keratin filaments grow increasingly numerous near the surface of highly keratinized epithelium, which on the dry surfaces of the body may consist of a layer of dead corneocytes.

The epidermis of the palm of the hand, the sole of the foot, and the masticatory mucosa are examples of keratinized squamous epithelial tissues. The mucosa of the oral cavity, anal canal, ectocervix, foreskin, and other linings of squamous epithelial surfaces that are mildly (or non-) keratinized are examples. This tissue is largely responsible for providing abrasion resistance.

Stratified Squamous Epithelium Diagram

Squamous Epithelium, 1 Stratified Squamous Epithelium, What is Squamous Epithelium, Squamous

Stratified Squamous Epithelium Structure

The outermost layer of the skin and the linings of the oesophagus, mouth, and vaginal canal are examples of stratified epithelia in which the uppermost layer is made up of squamous epithelial cells.

An epithelial tissue comprised of more than one layer of epithelial cells is known as a stratified epithelium. The difference between it and a simple epithelium is that the latter has just one layer of epithelial cells.

The stratified epithelium’s basal layer is the only one in touch with the basal lamina. The cells in the basal layer divide mitotically, resulting in an increase in the number of cells on top of the basal layer. Mitosis produces new cells that replace the apical cells on a regular basis.

The stratified epithelium can be further divided into squamous, columnar, or cuboidal cells based on the kinds of cells found at the surface.

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