Difference Between Ciliated Epithelial Cell and Squamous Epithelial Cell

Main Difference – Ciliated Epithelial Cell vs Squamous Epithelial Cell

Epithelial tissue is a large sheet of cells that covers all the surfaces of the body. The main function of the epithelial tissue is to provide protection. It is also involved in the secretion, selective absorption, transcellular transport, and sensing. Based on the structure of cells present, epithelial tissue can be classified in several ways. Ciliated epithelial cells and squamous epithelial cells are two types of epithelial cells found in the body. The main difference between ciliated epithelial cell and squamous epithelial cell is that ciliated epithelial cell consists of cilia whereas squamous epithelial cell lacks cilia.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Ciliated Epithelial Cell
     – Definition, Structure, location, Function
2. What is Squamous Epithelial Cell
     – Definition, Structure, location, Function
3. What are the Similarities Between Ciliated Epithelial Cell and Squamous Epithelial Cell
     – Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Ciliated Epithelial Cell and Squamous Epithelial Cell
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms: Cilia, Ciliated Epithelial Cell, Epithelial Tissue, Simple Columnar Epithelium, Pseudostratified Columnar Epithelium, Squamous Epithelial Cell

Difference Between Ciliated Epithelial Cell and Squamous Epithelial Cell - Comparison Summary

What is Ciliated Epithelial Cell

Ciliated epithelial cell refers to an epithelium that bears vibratile, hair-like processes called cilia on the free surface of the epithelium. Typically, cilia move in a wave-like pattern in one direction. It allows the sweep away of the debris and directs the flow of particles, creating a current. This type of epithelial cells are more common in the nasal and respiratory passageway, and cilia is the main reason for the movement of mucus, carrying the dead cells, pathogens and other particles away from the system. Ciliated epithelial cells can be identified in either simple columnar epithelium or pseudostratified columnar epithelium. Ciliated epithelial cells in the pseudostratified epithelium are shown in figure 1.

Main Difference - Ciliated Epithelial Cell vs Squamous Epithelial Cell

Figure 1: Pseudostratified Epithelium

Ciliated epithelium is generally found on the inner surfaces of the body. Simple columnar epithelium can be found in the lining of bronchi, uterine tubes, and uterus. The main function of the simple columnar epithelial cell is the absorption of nutrients in the digestive tract. Pseudostratified columnar epithelium can be found in the trachea and upper respiratory tract. The main function of pseudostratified epithelium is the movement of mucus to the outside of the body. Moreover, both simple columnar and pseudostratified epithelium secrete mucus.

What is Squamous Epithelial Cell

Squamous epithelial cell refers to an epithelium that consists of one or more cell layers of flat, scale-like or plate-like cells. The nucleus of the cell is centrally-located. The two main types of squamous epithelium are simple squamous and stratified squamous epithelium.

Stratified Squamous Epithelium

Stratified (multi-layered) squamous epithelium is mainly found in the vagina and cervix. The three layers of the stratified squamous epithelium are the superficial layer, intermediate layer, and basal layer. The superficial layer consists of matured but, non-keratinized cells. The intermediate layer consists of maturing cells. The basal layer consists of generative cells attached to the basement membrane. Stratified squamous epithelium in the exocervix is shown in figure 2.

Difference Between Ciliated Epithelial Cell and Squamous Epithelial Cell

Figure 2: Simple Squamous Epithelium

Simple Squamous Epithelium

The simple squamous epithelium in the lining of airways, heart, blood vessels, and lymphatic vessels. This epithelium allows materials to pass through it either by diffusion or filtration. Hence, this epithelium can be specifically found in blood capillaries, alveoli, and glomeruli. It also secretes lubricating substances.

Similarities Between Ciliated Epithelial Cell and Squamous Epithelial Cell

  • Ciliated epithelial cell and squamous epithelial cell are two types of epithelial cells classified based on the structure.
  • Both ciliated epithelial cell and squamous epithelial cell line body surfaces or cavities.
  • Both ciliated epithelial cell and squamous epithelial cell consist of a cell layer rested on a basal lamina.
  • Both ciliated epithelial cell and squamous epithelial cell may be composed of either a single or multiple cell layers.

Difference Between Ciliated Epithelial Cell and Squamous Epithelial Cell

Definition

Ciliated Epithelial Cell: Ciliated epithelial cell refers to an epithelium that bears vibratile, hairlike processes called cilia on the free surface of the epithelium.

Squamous Epithelial Cell: Squamous epithelial cell refers to an epithelium that consists of one or more cell layers of flat, scale-like or plate-like cells.

Specializations

Ciliated Epithelial Cell: Ciliated epithelial cell consists of cilia.

Squamous Epithelial Cell: Squamous epithelial cell lacks cilia.

Type of Epithelia

Ciliated Epithelial Cell: Ciliated epithelial cell can form either simple columnar epithelium or pseudostratified columnar epithelium.

Squamous Epithelial Cell: Squamous epithelial cell can form either simple squamous epithelium or stratified squamous epithelium.

Nucleus

Ciliated Epithelial Cell: The nucleus of the simple columnar epithelial cell is located at the bottom part of the cell. The nucleus of the pseudostratified columnar epithelial cell is located in different heights.

Squamous Epithelial Cell: The nucleus of the squamous epithelial cell is centrally-located.

Significance

Ciliated Epithelial Cell: Ciliated epithelial cells are mainly found on the inner surfaces of the body.

Squamous  Epithelial Cell: Squamous epithelial cells are mainly found in the passages that open to the external environment.

location

Ciliated Epithelial Cell: Simple columnar epithelium can be found in the lining of bronchi, uterine tubes, and uterus. Pseudostratified columnar epithelium can be found in the trachea and upper respiratory tract.

Squamous Epithelial Cell: Simple squamous epithelium can be found in the lining of airways, heart, blood vessels, and lymphatic vessels. Stratified squamous epithelium can be found in mouth, esophagus, and vagina.

Function

Ciliated Epithelial Cell: The main function of the ciliated epithelial cell is to secrete mucus and beat rhythmically to move mucus through a duct along with pathogens and other particles. 

Squamous Epithelial Cell: The main function of the simple squamous epithelial cell is to move particles through diffusion or filtration and to secrete mucus. Stratified squamous epithelium protects the body against abrasion.

Conclusion

Ciliated epithelial cell and squamous epithelial cell are two types of epithelial cell that line the body. The ciliated epithelial cell consists of cilia that allow the movement of mucus through a duct along with foreign particles. Squamous epithelial cell lacks cilia, and it is mainly involved in the secretion and absorption. Therefore, the main difference between ciliated epithelial cell and squamous epithelial cell is the presence of cilia and function of each epithelial cell in the body.

Reference:

1. Walker, M., and Angela B. “What is Ciliated Epithelium?” WiseGEEK, Conjecture Corporation, 5 Feb. 2018, .
2. “Cervical cytology / Squamous epithelium.” Eurocytology, .

Image Courtesy:

1. “CIN 1 vs normal exocervix (3 of 3)” by Ed Uthman via
2. “2304 Pseudostratified Epithelium” By OpenStax College – Anatomy & Physiology, Connexions Web site. , Jun 19, 2013 I via

About the Author: Lakna

Lakna, a graduate in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, is a Molecular Biologist and has a broad and keen interest in the discovery of nature related things

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