Histology - Stratified squamous epithelium


Stratified squamous epithelium occurs on numerous surfaces where it provides an important protective function. It forms the outer covering of the body - the epidermis, where it becomes cornfield at its surface. It also is found in the mucosal linings of the mouth, pharynx, esophagus, larynx, and vagina (in these locations the surface is not cornfield). This section is from the mucosal lining of the vagina. Note the numerous cell layers. The cuboid basal layer is the active mitotic (dividing) layer. As the cells arising from this layer push toward the surface they begin to die and become progressively flatter in appearance.

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