Organization, barrier function and antimicrobial lipids of the oral mucosa
As one moves from the skin across the vermilion region of the lip and into the oral cavity, the oral mucosa is encountered. The oral mucosa consists of connective tissue known as the lamina propria covered by a stratified squamous epithelium. In the regions of the hard palate and gingiva, the epithelium is keratinized like the epidermis. In the buccal region, the floor of the mouth and the underside of the tongue, the epithelium is non‐keratinized. The epithelium on the dorsum of the tongue is a specialized epithelium, but can be approximated as a mosaic of keratinized and non‐keratinized epithelia. The non‐keratinized epithelial regions do not produce a stratum corneum. Nuclei with intact DNA are retained in the superficial cells. In all regions, the outer portions of the epithelium provide a protective permeability barrier, which varies regionally. Antimicrobial lipids at the surfaces of the oral mucosa are an integral part of innate immunity.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: June 1, 2013