What is the function of the simple columnar epithelium?

1 Answer
Aug 9, 2016

There are two types of simple columnar epithelia.


Simple columnar epithelia with microvilli secrete digestive enzymes and absorb digested food.

Simple columnar epithelia with cilia aid in the movement of mucus and reproductive cells.

Columnar epithelia

Columnar epithelial cells are epithelial cells whose height is at least four times their width.

These cells are tall and are arranged like columns.


Columnar epithelia with microvilli

There are about 3000 microvilli per cell, so they provide a large surface area for maximum intestinal absorption.

With microvilli
(From www.studyblue.com)

They line most organs of the digestive tract, including the stomach and the small and large intestines.

Ciliated columnar epithelia

Ciliated columnar epithelia are found in the respiratory tract, in the Fallopian tubes, and in the uterus.

The movement of the cilia aids in pushing mucus away to clear the respiratory tract.

In the reproductive system, currents generated by the cilia propel the egg cell toward the uterus.


Here's an interesting video on the simple columnar epithelium.