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Goblet cell

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Goblet cells are individual cells within an epithelium which are exocrine and secrete a mucus product onto the epithelial surface. They are an example of a unicellular gland. In histological section they often appear to have a goblet shape as their secretion, which occupies the apicocentral portion of the cell, is absorbed by the preparation. Their nucleus sits near the basement membrane.

The mucus that goblet cells secrete is a thick fluid that is a result of glycosylation of proteins with short chain sugars moieties.

Goblet cells are found in the:

  • gastrointestinal tract:
    • first appear in duodenum
    • maximum density by colon
  • respiratory epithelium: from upper tract distally to bronchioles

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