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Stratified Squamous Epithelial Tissue

Stratified Squamous Epithelial Tissue

Author: Aaron Mullally

- understand the morphological differences between stratified squamous keratinized and non-keratinized epithelial tissues

- know where you find stratified squamous keratinized epithelial tissue

- know where you find stratified squamous non-keratinized epithelial tissues

Here is a comparative difference between the two types of stratified squamous epithelial tissues. It is important that you know the basic morphological differences between these two tissues and where they are located.

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Stratified Squamous Epithelia

Keratinized stratified squamous epithelium
- multiple layers of squamous cells
- the apical layer of cells are dead and filled with the protein keratin
- this is found in the epidermis (top layer of skin) 

- is used to hinder water loss and creates a physical barrier for us from the outside world

Nonkeratinized stratified squamous epithelium
- multiple layers of squamous cells
- none of the cells are dead
- found in moist slippery areas of the body such as the vagina, oral mucosa, tongue and esophagus

Source: Self Made

Stratified Squamous Epithelia

Here is an overview about the differences between stratified squamous epithelial (keratinized & non-keratinized) tissues. These are relatively easy to distinguish morphologically as you will see; just focus on the apical layer of cells. Later I will make packets about the integumentary system where the epidermis (stratified squamous keratinized) will be broken down with more depth.

Source: Self made with images from Marieb &

Stratified Squamous Epithelial Tissue Images

Here are a few images for you to see. As you can see the difference between the two is night and day if you focus on the apical/top layer of cells within these tissues. Look closely at the apical layers of cells in the non-keratinized tissues and you can still see the nucleus present within the cells.