Tracheal epithelium

Back trachea esophagus

049.jpg (494762 bytes)

The multiple layers of nuclei in the epithelium makes it appear to be stratified. However, because all the cells are attached to the underlying basal lamina, this is pseudostratified. The hair-like projections on the apical surface are cilia. What function would the cilia have in the trachea? The arrow labeled "G" is pointing to a goblet cell. In Unit 2, these were identified as examples of unicellular glands. Goblet cells secrete mucus. Why would we want mucus in the trachea? How would you identify this type of epithelium?

Yes, this is pseudostratified columnar ciliated epithelium with goblet cells. If you switched the order of columnar and ciliated in your identification, that would be alright with me. The mucus of the goblet cells help catch foreign particles that are inhaled.