Gastrointestinal Cell System

Here you can find epithelial cells from the esophagus and smooth muscle cells from the stomach, the colon and the rectal.

The human esophagus is lined by a non-keratinizing, moist stratified squamous epithelium whose apical cell membranes and intercellular junctional complexes combine to produce an effective permeability barrier against the influx of luminal content. It contains three layers of muscle in its walls, the outer longitudinal and inner circular layers of the main muscular coat and the muscular layer of the mucosa. Visceral smooth muscle cells makes up all three layers along the entire organ except for the most rostral few centimeters.

The smooth muscle is responsible for the contractility in the gastrointestinal tract and this contraction is critical to peristalsis in all organs in the human gastrointestianal tract. Its structure differs greatly from that of skeletal muscle. All organs of the gastrointestinal tract contain three layers of muscle in their walls, the outer longitudinal, the middle circular and the inner oblique and visceral smooth muscle cells make up all three layers along the entire organs.

Inflammation of the human intestine causes thickening of the smooth muscle layers which results from the increases in the smooth muscle-specific actins. The increased smooth muscle actins may affect force production and further demonstrate the plasticity of smooth muscle in the inflamed intestine.