Caption: Adenoid / Nasopharynx surface. Seen here are: squamous nasal epithelial cells, a ciliated nasal epithelial cell and an M cell (lymphoepithelium). The nasopharynx (nasal part of the pharynx) lies behind the nose and above the level of the soft palate. Stratified squamous nasal epithelial cells line the surface of the nasopharynx (tightly packed together in this image). The epithelial cell surfaces are covered with tiny microvilli that increase the cell surface area. The microvilli likey aid in localization of foreign debris (coming from the nose) and detection by immune cells. Mucus, secreted by cells in the epithelial lining (not seen), traps foreign objects, such as bacteria, preventing them from entering the lungs. Near the center of the image is a ciliated nasal epithelial cell (they occur throughout the nasal lining). They have hair-like structures known as cilia. Coordinated, wave-like beating of the cilia propels the mucus to the back of the pharynx, where it is swallowed, thus removing foreign debris. An M-cell is seen to the right of the ciliated nasal epithelial cell. The M-cell is part of the lymphoepithelium and aids in transporting foreign antigens to the underlying lymphoid follicles. Other sensory cells / features (not seen) also occur in the nasal epithelial layer.
Magnification*: x1,200
Type: SEM
Copyright 2007 Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.
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