Simple Columnar Epithelium


  1. Goblet cell (produces mucus)
  2. Nucleus of a columnar cell (Note: the nuclei are at the same level in the tissue. This can help you see the single line of cells)
  3. Microvilli making up the “Brush Border”
  4. The layer of tissue to look at.


  • Epithelial tissue is classified based on the shape of the cells at the apical surface and the number of layers of cells.
  • This epithelial tissue consists of one layer of elongated (tall) cells.
  • The nuclei are round or oval. They tend to line up at the same level within the cell, producing a line of nuclei throughout the length of the tissue.
  • Some of the cells have cilia at their apical surface, some have microvilli.
  • Sometimes goblet cells (which are mucus secreting cells shaped like goblets) are dispersed throughout the cellular layer.


  • Absorption of nutrients. The Microvilli increase the surface area for increased absorption.
  • Secretion of enzymes.


  • Digestive tract: stomach, intestines, gallbladder
  • Uterine tubes
  • Collecting ducts of kidneys