Simple Squamous Epithelium

Simple squamous epithelium consists of a single layer of thin, flattened cells. These cells fit tightly together, somewhat like floor tiles, and their nuclei are usually broad and thin (fig. 5.1).

Substances pass rather easily through simple squa-mous epithelium, which is common at sites of diffusion and filtration. For instance, simple squamous epithelium lines the air sacs (alveoli) of the lungs where oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged. It also forms the walls of capillaries, lines the insides of blood and lymph vessels, and covers the membranes that line body cavities. However, because it is so thin and delicate, simple squamous epithelium is easily damaged.

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