Histology Guide

virtual microscopy laboratory

Chapter 2 - Epithelium

This quiz only covers material that would be expected to be discussed in a histology laboratory.


  • Learn how to classify epithelia based on their structure and apical specializations.
  • Understand how the structure of an epithelium correlates with its function.

General Questions

What three features are used to classify epithelia? [+]

  • Shape of surface cells
  • Number of layers of cells
  • Specializations

What shapes of epithelial cells are found on the surface of epithelia? [+]

  • Squamous - width is larger than height
  • Cuboidal - width and height are similar
  • Columnar - height is larger than width

What names are associated with an epithelium that has single or multiple layers of cells? [+]

  • Simple - single layer of cells
  • Stratified - multiple layers of cells

What specializations are found on the apical surface of epithelial cells and their function? [+]

  • Microvilli - increases the apical surface available for absorption
  • Cilia - motility
  • Keratin - protection and dehydration

What are the two specialized forms of epithelia? [+]

  • Pseudostratified columnar epithelium
  • Transitional epithelium

Are epithelia polarized? [+]

Yes, epithelial cells have distinct apical (top), basal (bottom), and lateral (side) surfaces

What separates an epithelium from the underlying connective tissue? [+]

Basement membrane - varies in thickness depending on the tissue

What is the function of goblet cells dispersed between epithelial cells? [+]

Goblet cells secrete mucins that protect and lubricates the surface of the epithelium

Microscope Slides

It is not necessary to learn the names of specific tissues for this chapter, but rather learn to recognize variations in epithelia.