ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Oesophagus. Light micrograph of a cross-section through the human oesophagus. The oesophagus forms a tube which passes food from the mouth to the stomach. Its lumen (inner cavity, at centre) is lined by a thick, protective stratified squamous epithelium (dark blue). This is folded to allow the wall to stretch. Beneath the epithelium lies a lamina propria layer (light blue) containing lymphoid tissue (dark patches). Beneath the lamina propria are two thick layers of muscle (mauve): an inner circular muscle layer, and an outer layer of longitudinal muscle. These muscle layers cause peristaltic contractions to move food along to the stomach. Magnification: x4 at 6x6cm size.
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