Epithelial Nature of Nervous Tissue

The nervous system is an epithelium, with cells close by and little space between. Far more complex than other epithelia, with flattened, cuboidal, or columnar cells in single or stratified sheets covering surfaces or lining spaces, the nervous system is a superepithelium: a huge, three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle with billions of pieces of varying size (1 to over 150 mm), length (1 mm to 1 m) and, in some cases, an extraordinarily complex and beautiful configuration. Electron micrographs show that its pieces fit together, precisely and intimately, with little space left over, an evident benefit for cell communication (Fig. 16).

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