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Animal tissues. Epithelium.


Simple cuboidal epithelium
Connective tissue
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Epithelium: simple cuboidal
Organ: trachea, exocrine gland, excretory duct.
Species: mouse (Mus musculus; mammal).
Technique: PAS-haematoxylin, 8 µm thick section, paraffin embedding.

The simple cuboidal epithelium is a layer of cube-like shape cells, i.e, are as wide as tall. This can be observed when it is cut perpendicularly to the epithelial surface (see also Figure 1). Actually, it should be named as isoprismatic because cells have more than 8 faces, and the faces are not regular. The nucleus is rounded and located centrally or slightly basal in the cell. Sometimes, the apical surface of the cell shows cilia, flagella or microvilli.

Simple cuboidal epithelium
Figure 1. Simple cuboidal epithelium.

This type of epithelium lines many ducts and tubes in the body. It is found in secretory epithelium (thyroid gland), excretory ducts (exocrine gland ducts), protection surfaces (ovary surface and pigmented retina), ducts for absorption/excretion (renal tubules and choroid plexuses) and in the respiratory ducts (lung bronchioles).

More images

Simple cuboidal epithelium from broncholes of the lung. The apical surface is full of cilia.
Nephron convoluted tubes
Convoluted tubules of nephrons are formed by simple cuboidal epithelium. Crosses indicate proximal convoluted tubules with microvilli in the free surface (pinky colour of the inner part of the tubule), whereas asterisks indicate distal convoluted tubules.
Kidney collecting tubes
The collecting ducts of the kidney is lined by simple cuboidal epithelium. Cells are slightly rounded.
The thyroid follicle is made up of simple cuboidal epithelium, which releases hormone precursors to the inner part (red color).
Kidney papilla
Renal papilla is covered by simple cuboidal epithelium.
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