Transitional Epithelium

By Carol Martin

What is transitional epithelium?

Transitional epithelium is multiple layers of cells that work together to line the urinary system. This tissue is found in the urethra, bladder, uterus, and the lining of other organs. The tissue helps keep substances flowing through the body by expanding and contracting each cell.

The function and structure of transitional epithelium

The function of transitional epithelium is to protect the urinary system from the toxins of urine. The tissue helps absorb and secrete substances. Transitional epithelium is a stratified epithelium in which the shape of the surface cells changes depending on the amount of stretch. When a transitional epithelium is not stretched, the cells of the surface layers are large and rounded.

'Transitional Epithelium'

The name of this tissue comes from the function of the cells. The cells in the tissue can transition their forms from a oval shape to a flattened shape. An example of this is a full bladder releasing its fluids.