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Mucosa innermost layer Submucosa Muscularis Serosa/Visceral Peritoneum

outermost layer
Alimentary Canal 1. Epithelium Areolar CT containing a rich supply Inner circular layer and outer Areolar CT covered with
Simple columnar epithelium rich in of blood and lymphatic vessels, longitudinal layer enable mesothelium (a single layer of
mucus-secreting cells except in lymphoid follicles, and nerve fibres segmentation and peristalsis. squamous epithelial cells) in
the oral cavity, esophagus, and anal which supply the surrounding intraperitoneal organs.
cavity. Secrete mucus, digestive tissues of the GI tract wall. In several places along the tract, the
enzymes, and hormones and circular layer thickens, forming In the esophagus, the serosa is
absorb the end products of sphincters that act as valves to replaced by an adventitia (fibrous
digestion into the blood. control food passage from one CT) that binds the esophagus to the
organ to the next and prevent surrounding structures.
2. Lamina propria (loose backflow.
areolar CT) Retroperitoneal organs have both a
Capillaries nourish the epithelium serosa and an adventitia.
and absorb digested nutrients.
Isolated lymphoid follicles, part of
MALT (mucosa-associated
lymphoid tissue), help defend
against bacteria and other

3. Muscularis mucosae
Produces local movements of the
Oral Cavity Epithelium: stratified squamous

Keratinized: gums, hard palate, and

dorsum of the tongue.

Non-keratinized: soft palate, lips,

cheeks, and floor of the mouth.

No muscularis mucosae
Pharynx Epithelium: stratified squamous
epithelium with mucus-producing
Esophagus Epithelium: non-keratinized Scattered mucus (esophageal) Well-developed muscularis Upper third: consists of skeletal
stratified squamous epithelium glands provide lubrication for food provides peristaltic propulsion of muscle
to pass. food and segmentation.
Lamina propria: has fewer Lower two thirds: consists of
lymphocytes than that in the smooth muscle
stomach and intestine, presumably CT of the submucosa is typically In the transitional region, both
because the protective stratified more fibrous and less cellular than types of muscle may be seen.
squamous epithelium is more that in the laminar propria of the
effective at keeping out foreign mucosa.

Muscularis mucosa: is noticeably

thicker than that in the stomach
and intestine, and includes only
longitudinal muscle fibers that
occur in bundles.
Stomach Epithelium: simple columnar Thicker than elsewhere along the GI
epithelium with closely packed tract.
tubular glands
An additional oblique layer of
Gastric pits which open freely to the smooth muscle is present.
lumen are covered entirely by
mucus cells which protect the The pyloric stomach is also
stomach from self-digestion. characterised by a considerable
thickening of the muscularis
Gastric glands comprise the bulk of externa, forming the pyloric
the mucosa beneath the gastric sphincter.
pits. Although lamina propria
separates the individual glands,
most of the mucosal volume is
occupied by secretory cells:
Parietal cells secrete acid
(HCl) and intrinsic factor
Mucus-neck cells
produce a thin, soluble
mucus that is acidic
Chief cells produce
pepsingogen and lipases
(fat-digesting enzymes)
Enteroendocrine cells
release a number of
hormones (e.g. histamine,
serotonin, somatostatin,
gastrin, etc.)
Undifferentiated stem
cells replace damage
epithelial mucosal cells
Cardiac glands are relatively short.
Fundic glands are not quite straight
and not quite parallel to one
another and there is often little or
no space in the glandular lumens.
Pyloric glands are deep and
structurally similar to Brunners
glands of the duodenum.

Rugae (wrinkles) both allow the

stomach to stretch in order to
accommodate large meals and help
to grip and move food during
Small Intestine Epithelium: simple columnar Duodenum: Brunners glands
epithelium that is characterised by
invagination into plicae and villi,
which increase the surface area for
nutrient absorption, and by shorter
tubular invaginations, the crypts,
which provide a protected site for
stem cells. The epithelium consists
primarily of enterocytes, with
scattered goblet cells and
occassional enteroendocrine cells.

Plicae circulares are deep,

permanent folds of the mucosa and
submucosa that forces chyme to
spiral through the lumen, slowing
its movement and allowing time for
full nutrient absorption.

Villi are large and leaf-like in the

duodenum and gradually narrow
and shorten along the length of the
small intestine. The villi are lined by
enterocytes (specialised absorptive
cells) that have microvilli which
forms the brush border and act to
increase surface area. Lamina
propria of each villus is richly
supplied with capillaries and also
includes a single lacteal, for
transporting absorbed nutrients.

Crypts contain secretory Paneth

cells at the deep end which secrete
lysosomal enzymes, which
contribute to protecting the stem
cells in the crypt lining.

Jejunum: large and prominent

plicae circularis.

Ileum: small plicae circularis,

absent at the terminal end; large
number of lymphoid tissue
Peyers patches.

Lamina propria also includes thin

strands of smooth muscle and
numerous lymphocytes.
Large Intestine Epithelium: simple columnar The outer longitudinal layer of the Epiploic appendages are small, fat-
epithelium with a tremendous muscularis externa is gathered into filled pouches of visceral
amount of goblet cells and few three distinct teniae coli. The tone peritoneum that hang from the
enterocytes. of these muscle bands puckers the surface of the large intestine.
wall of the large intestine into
The epithelium of the deep Crypts pocket-like sacs called haustra.
of Lieberkuhn also includes stem
cells, enteroendocrine cells, and
Paneth cells.

The lamina propria is similar to that

of the small intestine, composed of
loose CT infiltrated by many
lymphocytes, capillaries and thin
strands of smooth muscle.

Thin muscularis mucosa beneath

the deep ends of the crypts.
Anal Canal The epithelium changes from a The CT of the submucosa changed
simple columnar epithelium with to the dense fibrous tissue of the
goblet cells, through a short zone of dermis.
non-keratinized stratified
squamous epithelium, to typical
keratinized stratified squamous

Lamina propria and muscularis

mucosae disappear distally.