Histology of the Colon

The colonic wall is organised histologically into three layers. These are:

The Mucosa

The mucosa of the colon consists of columnar epithelium shaped into straight tubular crypts with numerous goblet cells.

The large intestine has no villi.

Intestinal crypts are well developed and contain many goblet cells and stem cells.


The Submucosa

The submucosa consists of loose areolar tissue containing blood vessels and the submucous (Meissner’s) nerve plexus.

The Muscular Coat

The muscular coat is in two layers, an inner circular and an outer longitudinal, between which lies the myenteric (Auerbach’s) nerve plexus.

The longitudinal muscle layer as far as the proximal rectum forms three discrete bundles of fibres, the taeniae coli, and the remaining intervening wall is sacculated giving the colon its characteristic haustra.

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