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Enterocytes, or intestinal absorptive cells, are simple columnar epithelial cells found in the small intestine. A glycocalyx surface coat contains digestive enzymes. Microvilli on the apical surface increase surface area for the digestion and transport of molecules from the intestinal lumen. The cells also have a secretory role.

Enterocyte
Cell enterocyte.png
Enterocyte
Details
Identifiers
Latin enterocytus
MeSH Enterocytes
Code TH H3.04.03.0.00006
Anatomical terminology

Contents

FunctionsEdit

The major functions of enterocytes include:[1]

PathologyEdit

Dietary fructose intolerance occurs when there is a deficiency in the amount of fructose carrier.

Lactose intolerance is the most common problem of carbohydrate digestion and occurs when the human body doesn't produce a sufficient amount of lactase (a disaccharidase) enzyme to break down the sugar lactose found in dairy. As a result of this deficiency, undigested lactose is not absorbed and is instead passed on to the colon. There bacteria metabolize the lactose and in doing so release gas and metabolic products that enhance colonic motility. This causes gas and other uncomfortable symptoms.

Toxins such as cholera toxin may increase the secretion or decrease the intake of water and electrolytes, leading to possibly severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.[2]

Rotavirus selectively invades and kills mature enterocytes in the small intestine.[3]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Ross, M.H. & Pawlina, W. 2003. Histology: A Text and Atlas, 4th Edition. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia.
  2. ^ Joaquín Sánchez, Jan Holmgren (February 2011). "Cholera toxin – A foe & a friend" (PDF). Indian Journal of Medical Research. 133. p. 158. 
  3. ^ Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease, Chapter 17, 749-819

External linksEdit

  • Histology image: 11706loa – Histology Learning System at Boston University - "Digestive System: Alimentary Canal — jejunum, goblet cells and enterocytes"