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Mesothelium vs epithelium

The Epithelium

The epithelium is the stratum of cells that line the inner and external surface of the body. They lie on top of your supporting basement membrane made of collagen fiber. The main function of epithelium would be to protect the internal and external areas of the body, however, they also function as secretory organs and glands. In some areas of the body they are responsible for frugal absorption, transcellular transport as very well as detection of senses.


Embryologically, the epithelium could be derived from any three of the germ layers which are, emdoderm, ectoderm and also the mesoderm. The true epithelium, even though, is considered to be the one arising from ectoderm. The epidermis of the skin is one such example of your true epithelium. Epithelium arising on the endoderm forms the inner lining of the intestine and gastro intestinal region. The ones that arise on the mesoderm forms the inner lining of the body cavities.

In terms of structure the epithelial cells could be classified into simple epithelium as well as stratified epithelium. Simple epithelium are those that includes a single layer of cells. Simple epithelium could be further classified into Squamous, cuboidal, columnar as well as pseudostratified. The simple squamous tissue are only in lining of the alveoli, surfaces of capillaries etc. Simple epithelium might have surface modifications like ciliated epithelium which are present in the respiratory region or have membrane folding to make a structure called microvilli to boost the surface area. Microvilli are only in small intestine wall and actively attend absorption of digested nutrients.

Types of epithelium
The stratified epithelium has more than one layer of cells which rest over a basement membrane. This type of epithelial tissue are only mainly on the external surface of the body where common damage occurs. It can be hard and keratinized like that on the skin or non-keratinized like within the urinary bladder. This type of non-keratinized stratified epithelium are named transitional epithelium. The keratinized epithelium are characterized by a layer of dead cells abundant with protein called keratin.

Apart from protection as well as function with nutrition, epithelial solar cells functions as glands too. Certain area of the epithelial cells are folded as well as forms glands. The sweat glands and oil glands on the outer skin are examples of glands made by epithelial cells.

Mesothelial Cells

Mesothelial cells form the mesothelium, that is a single layer of stratified solar cells found covering internal body organs. Mesothelium can be classified into differing types according to their site of origin. The pleural mesothelium addresses the lungs, the peritoneal mesothelium addresses the abdominal organs, the pericardial mesothelium covers the heart and tunica vaginalis covers the inner lining of the testis.

During the course of development the mesothelial tissue arises from the mesoderm layer of your embryo. Since it has a common origin as that of the epithelial tissue it is sometimes considered as a type of epithelium. However, the mesodermal cells are histologically completely different from the true epithelium. Therefore, clinically the mesothelium is regarded as different from epithelium. True epithelium arise from ectodermal stratum whereas the mesothelium is derivative of the mesoderm.

Epithelium Vs mesothelium
The mesothelium functions like a protective layer that covers vital organs such as the heart, lungs, abdomen and testis. It secretes lubricating fluid that helps you to reduce friction during movement of internal body organs like while in breathing, heart beat etc. With regards to cellular structure, the mesothelial solar cells are either squamous type as well as few are cuboidal. Stratified types, as in epithelium, are not present in case of mesothelium. Unlike epithelial cells that is present in all external surfaces of the body, the mesothelium is limited to certain body cavities. Due on their difference in origin both cell type shows different pathology while in tumorogenesis. The cancerous growth of mesothelium is known as sarcomas and cancerous growth of epithelial tissue are called carcinoma.

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