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{{#invoke:Sidebar|sidebar}} Epithelium (epi- + thele + -ium) is one of the four basic types of animal tissue. The other three types are connective tissue, muscle tissue and nervous tissue. Epithelial tissues line the cavities and surfaces of blood vessels and organs throughout the body.

There are three principal shapes of epithelial cells: squamous, columnar, and cuboidal. These can be arranged in a single layer of cells as simple epithelium, either squamous, columnar or cuboidal, or in layers of two or more cells deep as stratified (layered), either squamous, columnar or cuboidal. All glands are made up of epithelial cells. Functions of epithelial cells include secretion, selective absorption, protection, transcellular transport, and sensing.

Epithelial layers contain no blood vessels, so they must receive nourishment via diffusion of substances from the underlying connective tissue, through the basement membrane.<ref name="Eurell-2006-p18">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref><ref name="p. 3">Freshney, 2002: p. 3</ref>


Epithelium sections
Intro  Classification  Structure  Function  Clinical significance  Etymology and pronunciation  Additional images  See also  References  [[Epithelium?section=Further</a>_reading|Further</a> reading]]  

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