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Stratified cuboidal epithelium

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Definition of Stratified cuboidal epithelium

The stratified cuboidal epithelium is composed of multiple layers of cells, in which the topmost layer is composed of cuboidal cells, while the lower layer could be columnar or cuboidal. In the case of stratified squamous epithelium cells in the layers below may differ from the epithelium on top. The alteration of cells that line the apical surfaces is based on the position and purpose of the epithelial tissue. The epithelium is extremely uncommon and only occurs in a few areas of the body.

Stratified cuboidal epithelium labeled

Stratified cuboidal epithelium labeled
Stratified cuboidal epithelium labeled

Stratified cuboidal epithelium structure

  • The epithelium that is stratified cuboidal is composed of multiple levels of cell layers out of which the cells of the topmost layers are cube-shaped.
  • The layers below, the deeper ones are able to be cuboidal as well as columnar in their shape.
  • Cells are packed tightly to make sure that there is no gap between two cells.
  • The base layer epithelium is connected with the basement membrane. the remaining layers are linked to one another in order to preserve the structural integrity.
  • The cells are linked to one another by tight junctions such as desmosomes or gap junctions , with the exception of the apical layer of the outermost layer which is visible towards the organ’s lumen.
  • As cells within the basal layer split into new cells, new layers are created over the top. They may alter to better serve the functions of the epithelium located in the area.
  • In the apical layer after cells die and lose cell junctions, they’re removed, but they are replaced continuously with new cells that emerge from the basal cells.
  • The epithelium is avascular, which means that there is no direct source of supply. The epithelium receives nutrients such as water, oxygen, and nutrients through diffusion.
  • The epithelium, however, has it’s own source of nerve energy.

Stratified cuboidal epithelium function

Since the epithelium is restricted to a small number of organs within the body The functions of the epithelium are also dependent around the organs.


1. Protection

The main role of the stratified epithelium lies in protection. As the epithelium contains several layers, it shields the tissues underneath and internal organs from various damage, both microbial and physical. The desmosomes and gap junctions found on cells create an impermeable barrier that prevents the entrance into the body of any foreign particle.

Additionally it also serves as a gatekeeper, removing unwanted particles and allowing the passage of water and nutrients into cells. Since cells are constantly repaired and replaced they function as the primary line of defense to ensure the protection of our body.

2. Absorption and secretion

The cuboidal epithelium that is stratified performs the role of limiting release and absorption. The epithelium around the ducts of specific glands secretes a small quantity of fluid, in addition to other things, into the duct. The cuboidal epithelium that is stratified in the urethra sucks up water and some ions that are released from urine.

Stratified cuboidal epithelium location and stratified cuboidal epithelium examples

Sweat Glands

The picture above illustrates the sweat gland. The point of this black arrow lies the cuboidal epithelium that is stratified. The arrow itself indicates the cube-shaped cells that clearly circle an empty space. The empty space is a small vein that is able to exit the skin. If you sweat in the summer, this stratified cuboidal epithelium permits various salt ions and water molecules to get into the vessel. When exposed to the air on your skin the skin, it disappears. The skin is cooled significantly.

Sweat Glands
Sweat Glands

Parotid Glands

As with the sweat gland the parotid organ is responsible in the production and release of substances to the body. The parotid gland releases saliva into the mouth, helping in digestion and chewing. Above is a microscope image of the parotid tissues. The cells that are lighter in color on the left-hand side of the image depict the cuboidal epithelium that has been stratified. You can clearly observe the stratification of a number of cells that are squamous, which lie behind the cuboidal cells, close to the saliva ducts. The cells that are darker in the picture are probably to be responsible for the production of several of the compounds found that are found in saliva, from proteins that lubricate to enzymes designed to digest food as fast as is possible.

Parotid Glands
Parotid Glands

Mammary Glands

Above is a picture of a mammary gland in the magnifying glass. While this image has been larger than the other ones, you can observe the cuboidal cells around the ducts. The dark circle around each duct is comprised of cuboidal cells. the tissue in between is composed of flatter and the squamous cells. The many ducts visible in this photo is where the ducts have merging. Ducts run throughout the breasts to supply lactose to the breast nipple which then delivers an enormous amount of milk to nursing offspring. The cuboidal epithelium is stratified to help release the milk while also protecting the breast’s tissues from the ravages of the toxin and bacteria.

Mammary Glands
Mammary Glands

Stratified cuboidal epithelium under microscope

A stratified cuboidal epithelium 400x
A stratified cuboidal epithelium 400x | Image Source: https://blogs.lsc.edu/brianbich/portfolio-item/stratified-cuboidal-400x-1/
stratified cuboidal epithelium 400x
stratified cuboidal epithelium 400x
stratified cuboidal epithelium black and white
stratified cuboidal epithelium black and white | Image Source: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Stratified-cuboidal-epithelium-composed-of-several-layers-of-cuboidal-cells-and-lacking_fig1_20844801


Q1. what is the function of stratified cuboidal epithelium?

Wherever it is found, stratified cuboidal epithelium serves two general purposes: secretion and protection. Stratified cuboidal epithelium typically makes multiple membrane junctions between adjacent cells. In effect, this creates an impermeable barrier between two distinct surfaces in the body.

Q2. what is stratified cuboidal epithelium composed of..

Stratified cuboidal epithelium is a type of epithelial tissue composed of multiple layers of cube-shaped cells. 



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