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Related to ciliated: Ciliophora


1. any of the short thread-like projections on the surface of a cell, organism, etc., whose rhythmic beating causes movement of the organism or of the surrounding fluid
2. the technical name for eyelash



a slender filamentous or setaceous process found on cells that is capable of rhythmic movements. Among Protozoa, cilia are characteristic of infusorians. In some lower multicellular animals, such as turbellarians, cilia are found on all external covering elements (integumentary epithelium). The larvae of most coelenterates and sponges have a ciliated covering. In vertebrates, including humans, only a few specialized cells have cilia. For example, in man cilia cover the epithelium of the respiratory tract, the eustachian tubes, the vasa deferentia, the oviducts, and the uterus. Locomotor activity of the cilia ensures movement of the cell in a fluid medium; a ciliated cell that is fixed to a substrate produces currents of fluid in the surrounding medium.

The average cilium has a length of 5–15 microns and a diameter of 0.1–0.6 microns. The number of cilia on one cell ranges from ten to 22 in man to 2,500–15,000 in infusorians. The ultra-structures of cilia and flagella are identical. Externally cilia are covered with a three-layered membrane that becomes the surface membrane of the cell. In the center are two central tubular fibrils, which extend the length of the cilia, and nine peripheral fibrils, each of which is double. In the superficial layers of the cell cytoplasm, each cilium originates from the basal body, which has a structure similar to that of the cilium but lacks the central fibrils. The peripheral fibrils cause movement of the cilium, and the central ones apparently play a supportive role and possibly serve to conduct excitation.


References in periodicals archive ?
Although ciliated cells and microvilli are well developed in the inner epithelial layer of the mantle of Crassostrea virginica, the level of the distribution of secretory cells in the outer epithelial layer is high with minute development of ciliated cells and microvilli (Morrison 1993).
3) Our case contained numerous dilated cystic ducts with a lining epithelium rich in ciliated cells.
The epithelium of the proboscis sheath is a simple ciliated columnar type (Fig.
The epithelium covering the papillary projections may be flat, cuboidal, or columnar type, and some of the cells are ciliated.
Histologic examination of a cyst wall biopsy specimen identified fibrous tissue with chronic inflammation and a focus of ciliated epithelium consistent with a mucocele.
1) The lining of the cyst may range from cuboidal to ciliated columnar or even squamous epithelium, the latter likely representing a metaplastic process.
Each papilla comprises a group of densely stained ciliated neuroepithelial cells, surrounded by lightly stained supporting epithelial cells bearing microvilli.
We found that (1) in most cases, the types of epithelium were generally the same in both areas--pseudostratified cylindrical ciliated epithelium with goblet cells (respiratory epithelium), stratified cuboidal epithelium, and stratified squamous nonkeratinized epithelium; (2) the APINC had more respiratory epithelium than the APS; (3) the APS had more squamous epithelium than the APINC; (4) the basement membrane of the APINC was thicker than that of the APS; (5) moderate chronic inflammatory infiltrate was more common in the APINc, and mild infiltrate was more common in the APS; and (6) the APINC had more mucous glands and the APS had more serous glands.
The lining of the cysts (not involved by carcinoma) showed benign squamous, cuboidal, ciliated, and mucin-secreting epithelium with goblet cells.
2 Photomicrographs show a tumour composed of variably sized tubules (a: Hematoxylin and eosin stain [H&E] x100) and cystic spaces (b: H&E x100) that are separated by thin, hypocellular fibrovascular septae (c: H&E x200), with the lining epithelium showing tombstone appearance focally (d: H&E x200); the tubules are lined by atypical cuboidal to pseudostratified ciliated columnar cells (arrow) with abundant eosinophilic cytoplasm (e: H&E x400), large round to ovoid nuclei with prominent nucleoli (f: H&E x400) and hobnail appearance (g: H&E x600); solid areas show smaller tubules lined by similar atypical cells in a sclerotic stroma (h: H&E x200; i: H&E x400).
COPD exacerbations are multifactorial (mucus hypersecretions, inflamed ciliated epithelial cells in the airway, excessive migration of neutrophils, a high amount of oxidative stress, and lowered vital lung capacity.