Colon non tumor
General
Types of cells

Author: Hanni Gulwani, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 12 December 2016, last major update May 2013

Copyright: (c) 2003-2016, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.


Related topics: Colon non tumor
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Cite this page: Types of cells. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/colonhistologycells.html. Accessed November 19th, 2019.
Definition / general
  • Absorptive cells: eosinophilic cytoplasm, no mucin, shorter microvilli than small intestinal cells, basal nuclei
  • Endocrine cells:
    • Usually at base of crypts
    • Similar to cells in pancreas, lung, thyroid, urethra
    • Contain fine eosinophilic granules with secretory proteins
    • Nuclei are not basal but on luminal side of granules
    • Secretory granules are released at BASAL surface of endocrine cell or along lateral surface; NOT apical; products modulate digestive functions
  • Ganglion cells:
  • Goblet cells: contain ovoid mucoid vacuole
  • Inflammatory cells:
    • Lymphocytes (B & T), intraepithelial lymphocytes only rarely, plasma cells, histiocytes (may contain hemosiderin, mucin or "pseudomelanin" from laxatives), mast cells, occasional eosinophils (varies by geography, Mod Pathol 1997;10:363)
    • Lymphoglandular complexes when lymphoid follicles surround deep crypt epithelium extending into submucosa
    • Neutrophils not normally present
  • Interstitial cells of Cajal:
    • Associated with myenteric (Auerbach/intramuscular) plexus between circular and longitudinal muscle layers
    • Have pacemaker function which facilitates active propagation of electrical events and mediates neurotransmission
    • Have unique ultrastructure on EM with gap junctions between each other and smooth muscle cells
    • Have surface tyrosine kinase receptor c-Kit (CD117) which is essential for their development (Am J Surg Pathol 2003;27:228)
    • Kit ligand provided by neuronal cells or smooth muscle cells (J Physiol 2006;576:653, Sultan Qaboos Univ Med J 2012;12:411)
  • M cells:
  • Paneth cells:
    • Secretory epithelial cells at base of crypts in cecum and ascending colon
    • Considered metaplastic if present elsewhere in colon; granules contain antimicrobial peptides (Trends Microbiol 2004;12:394, J Biol Chem 2000;275:33969)
    • Have basophilic cytoplasm due to rough ER, numerous eosinophilic granules (larger than in endocrine cells)
  • Undifferentiated crypt cells:
    • At base of crypts
    • Precursor to other noninflammatory cells
    • Migration from crypts to surface takes 3 - 8 days
    • Process allows for rapid repair, but also makes cells sensitive to radiation and cancer chemotherapy
  • Diagrams / tables

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    M cells

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    Intestinal crypt

    Microscopic (histologic) images

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    Paneth cells

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    Intestinal crypt

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