Disorders of keratinisation: from rare to common genetic diseases of skin and other epithelial tissues.
Item Type:Journal Article
Citation:McLean, WH, Irvine, AD, Disorders of keratinisation: from rare to common genetic diseases of skin and other epithelial tissues., The Ulster Medical Journal, 76, 2, 2007, 72-82
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Epithelia are the first line of defence between the human body and its environment. For example, the skin, the largest organ in the body, is covered by the epidermis ? a multilayered, stratified, cornified epithelium that is highly specialised to protect the body from a diverse range of external insults that include mechanical trauma, microbial invasion, chemical damage and entry of allergens. Similarly, the anterior corneal epithelium protects the outermost surface of the eye; mucosal cells line the entries and exits of the body; the gastrointestinal tract is covered by layer of fast-turnover epithelial cells and the lung is lined by a mixed epithelium which also secretes defensive mucous. In other words, epithelia very often function as protective barrier tissues. In addition, many epithelial cells are adapted to perform glandular functions. The liver and pancreas, for example, are composed of functionally modified epithelial cells. These and other organs are also covered by a protective mesothelium ? the ?epidermis? of internal organs. On a smaller scale, the sweat and sebaceous glands of the skin also contain glandular epithelial cells. The sweat and sebum produced by these tiny glands of the skin are exported to the epidermal surface via ducts formed by epithelial cells, so here again, cells directly in contact with the exterior environment of the organism are epithelial in origin.
Author: IRVINE, ALAN
Type of material:Journal Article
Series/Report no:The Ulster Medical Journal;
Availability:Full text available