Pseudostratified Ciliated Columnar Epithelium (with Goblet Cells)


  1. Cilia (characteristic of this tissue – use to help you identify)
  2. The layer to look at – this is the location of this tissue
  3. Goblet cell (produces mucus)


  • Epithelial tissue is classified based on the shape of the cells at the apical surface and the number of layers of cells.
  • This tissue doesn’t fit the normal rules governing the naming of epithelial tissue.
  • This epithelium consists of a single layer of cells. Each cell touches the basal lamina (basement membrane).
  • The tissue gets its ‘false’ moniker from the fact that it looks like it consists of multiple layers. The cells are of differing heights. Also, look at the organization of the nuclei within the tissue. Unlike simple columnar epithelium, the nuclei are arranged at different levels within the cells. This gives the appearance of multiple layers.
  • Goblet cells are often present for mucus secretion.
  • The cells often contain cilia which move rhythmically back and forth, moving substances along the surface of the tissue.
    Use the condenser on the scope to block most of the light. This makes the cilia show up better. Use high power.


  • Secretion of mucus
  • Propulsion of mucus (and the debris trapped in the mucus) to protect the respiratory passages from infection.


  • Respiratory tract: nasal cavity, trachea, bronchi
  • Portions of male reproductive tract (ductus deferens)