Functionnally Characterized Epithelial Cells for Studying Biological Barrier and Secretion Functions
Epithelial cells are a specialized component of many organs and are characterized by common structural features, especially their arrangement into cohesive sheets. Epithelial cells, though, have diverse functions that are made possible by specialized adaptations. The physical properties of epithelial cells rely on their attachment to each other, which is mediated by cell junctions. The specialized functions of epithelial cells are mediated both through structural modifications of their surface and by internal modifications, which adapt cells to manufacture and secrete specific products.
Epithelial cells are specialized for absorption, secretion or to act as a barrier and form cohesive sheets of cells, called ‘epithelia’, which function mainly as :
- A lining for body surfaces, e.g. skin
- The functional units of secretory glands, such as salivary tissue and liver.
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