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Medical Term:

glands of small intestine


Definition: parallel, tubular, epithelial pits (crypts) with openings at the bases of the intestinal villi; their thin walls are formed by columnar epithelial cells: mostly undifferentiated stem and intermediate cells and an increasing number of goblet cells as the small intestine proceeds distally, all of which migrate out of the glands onto the villi, but also protein- (enzyme-) secreting Paneth cells that remain in the glands.

Synonym(s): glandulae intestini tenuisTA, crypts of Lieberkühn of small intestine

See Also: glands of large intestine

© Copyright 2016 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.