Transitional Epithelial Cells

Structure and Function of Transitional Epithelium

Cell Function

Transitional epithelial cells change their structure and push against organ walls to increase organ volume.

Transitional epithelial cell.

Three Organelles

Nucleus, mitochondria, and junctions.


The nucleus is the control center of individual cells and regulates everything that happens in the cell. Transitional epithelial cells must react to added liquid and contract, the nucleus controls this.


The mitochondria generates chemical energy effectively powering the cell and allowing it to carry out the functions it needs to. Transitional epithelial cells change their structure which requires energy.


Transitional epithelial cells have tight junctions at the top of every cell which hold the cells tightly together. Even when transitional epithelial cells stretch they must stay together because the form a sort of wall, the junctions help them do this.

Tissue Function

Transitional epithelial cells accommodate liquid fluctuation in organs such as the urinary bladder. When the bladder is full the layers of transitional epithelial cells along with submucosa and muscularis, which make up the tissue, stretch allowing the bladder to stretch and fill.


One organ that transitional epithelial cells are found in is the bladder. The bladder is responsible for urine retention which means that it stores urine until it is disposed of. As a bladder fills it stretches to accommodate more fluid. Transitional epithelial cells sense the badder filling with liquid and change their structure so that the walls can stretch.