Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Eyes a haven for Ebola and other viruses

A specific cell within our retina, the light-sensitive part of our eyes responsible for sending visual information to our brain, appears to be particularly good at housing Ebola and other viruses, new research has found.

Immunology

New research on dust mites and respiratory infections

When asthmatics' respiratory tracts are exposed to dust mites, their immune response becomes less effective, which can lead to a weaker immune system. People who suffer from asthma associated with infection may therefore ...

Medical research

Restoring airway integrity in cystic fibrosis patients

Cystic fibrosis is a rare genetic disease which can cause very serious symptoms. In particular, patients suffer from chronic bacterial infections that can lead to respiratory failure. It is caused by mutations in the CFTR ...

Medical research

Study reveals that kidney cells don't filter blood, they pump it

Human kidneys are an intricate network of tubes that process roughly 190 quarts of blood every day. Lining these tubes are epithelial cells that transport blood through the kidneys and circulate it back into the body. How ...

Medical research

'Human cell atlas' maps 1 million cell types in 33 organs

An international research effort has unveiled the most extensive reference map yet of individual cells within the human body, knowledge that could revolutionize the study of health and disease.

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Epithelium

In biology and medicine, an epithelium is a tissue composed of cells that line the cavities and surfaces of structures throughout the body. Many glands are also formed from epithelial tissue. It lies on top of connective tissue, and the two layers are separated by a basement membrane.

In humans, epithelium is classified as a primary body tissue, the other ones being connective tissue, muscle tissue and nervous tissue.

Epithelium is often defined by the expression of the adhesion molecule e-cadherin (as opposed to n-cadherin, which is used by cells of the connective tissue).

Functions of epithelial cells include secretion, selective absorption, protection, transcellular transport and detection of sensation and they commonly as a result present extensive apical-basolateral polarity (e.g. different membrane proteins expressed) and specialisation.

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