A Histology Tour of the GI Tract- The Jejunum


This post contains many high yield images that help to identify some of the identifying features of the jejunum. If you haven't already, be sure to read A Histology Tour of the GI Tract- Small Intestines Overview before continuing...


After food has traveled through the duodenum, it continues on to the jejunum, which is the second segment of small intestine.


Functions of the Jejunum

  • Villi have absorptive function

  • Microvilli increase the surface area of absorption

  • Muscularis externa helps in churning food particles i.e peristalsis

  • Serosa is supportive and protective in function

Histology


HELPFUL IDENTIFYING FEATURES:

  • Tongue shaped villi lined by simple columnar epithelium.

  • Absence of brunner’s glands in submucosa.

  • Crypts of Lieberkuhn present



HISTOLOGY LAYERS(From the inner mucosal (luminal) surface to external surface)


  • MUCOSA lined by simple columnar epithelium with fine microvilli, mucous secreting goblet cells. Formed into large folds or finger like projections called villi. Plica circularis is a mucosal fold with a core of submucosa


  • LAMINA PROPRIA contain tubular intestinal glands or crypts of lieberkuhn and numerous aggregations of lymphatic nodules called ‘Peyer’s patches’.

Crypts of lieberkuhn consists of following cells:

  1. Stem cells: active, undifferentiated cells found at the base of lamina propria.

  2. Goblet cells: secrete mucus.

  3. Enteroendocrine cells: present above the stem cells. Also called as ‘argentaffin cells’ since they are stained by silver salts. Belong to APUD (amine precursor uptake decarboxylase) system.

  4. Paneth cells: zymogenic cells, producing digestive enzymes and lysozymes.


  • MUSCULARIS MUCOSA/INTERNA this layer consists of disrupted circular muscle layers.


  • SUBMUCOSA made up of loose areolar connective tissue. Contains some lymphoid tissue which is migrated from lamina propria.


  • MUSCULARIS EXTERNA consists of outer longitudinal and inner circular muscle fibers with parasympathetic ganglion cells of myenteric plexus sandwiched between the two layers.


  • SEROSA outer most layer made up of few connective tissue cells and fibers, covered by mesothelium of visceral peritoneum



Continue browsing through the high yield (or simply very pretty) images below to acquaint yourself with "normal" histology findings in the jejunum.



Now that you have familiarized yourself with the jejunum, you can continue learning about the identifying features for each organ by clicking on the respective post in the GI- Small & Large intestines chapter. Next up, the Ileum!

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These posts contain high yield information collected from various educational resources including textbooks, journal articles, educational websites and more. They are intended for educational use only and should NOT be taken as medical advice. I strongly believe the spreading of knowledge and depth of learned information should be encouraged in today's society rather than coveted. Membership is required to view these posts  and should be used solely for educational purposes only.