stratified epithelium

stratified epithelium
An epithelium composed of multiple layers of cells, only the basal layer being in contact with the basal lamina (see basement membrane). The basal layer is of stem cells that divide to produce the cells of the upper layers; in skin, these become heavily keratinised before dying and being shed as squames. Stratified epithelia usually have a mechanical/protective role.

Dictionary of molecular biology. 2004.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • epithelium — n. the tissue that covers the external surface of the body and lines hollow structures (except blood and lymphatic vessels). It is derived from embryonic ectoderm and endoderm. Epithelial cells may be flat and scalelike (squamous), cuboidal, or… …   The new mediacal dictionary

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