By M. Rogers (Auth.)
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Additional resources for Cells and Tissues. An Introduction to Histology and Cell Biology
Epithelia rest on and are attached to a fine carpet of tough fibres, called a basal lamina, on that surface which faces the internal environment of the body. The basal lamina appears to be made by the epithelial cells themselves. It consists of very fine fibres of collagen, often called reticular fibres, set in a matrix of glycosaminoglycans: both of these will be discussed in detail in Chapter 5. The basal lamina (Fig. 2) seems to have several functions. It provides physical support to the epithelium resisting stretching and tearing forces; the arrangement of the connective tissue beneath the basal lamina often strongly reinforces this support.
In spite of this protective layer, the epithelial cells over the villi have a high probability of being damaged by the luminal contents. The whole sheet of cells is therefore replaced regularly, once every 36 hours in the mouse, every 3 - 5 days in humans. The dividing cells are kept segregated in the glands, or crypts, away from the hostile environment outside. Many mitotic figures can be seen in the crypts (Fig. 10c): in fact, this is the most rapidly 4. Epithelia: the body's limits 57 dividing population of cells in the body.
These two activities, concentration and the addition of sugars to the synthesized material, take place in a specialized stack of curved, membranebound sacs called the Golgi apparatus (Fig. 11). This, while effectively an extension of the ER, is not in open continuity with it. Instead, small vesicles or droplets pinch off from the ER and travel to the outer, convex surface of the Golgi apparatus, fusing with it to Fig. 11 TEM of cytoplasm, showing several examples of Golgi apparatus. ) 32 Cells and Tissues allow the contents to enter the Golgi saccules.