Villus

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Microvilli show electron dense plaques (open arrow) at their apices. These plaques may be the anchoring point for the  which run up through the core of the microvilli. While an extensive  is present on the microvilli of many mammals, the microvilli observed in this study do not demonstrate any visible glycocalyx. The junctional complex (thin arrow) at the apices of the  is supplemented by numerous spot  (arrow head) on the lateral surfaces of the cells.
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Microvilli show electron dense plaques (open arrow) at their apices. These plaques may be the anchoring point for the microfilaments which run up through the core of the microvilli. While an extensive glycocalyx is present on the microvilli of many mammals, the microvilli observed in this study do not demonstrate any visible glycocalyx. The junctional complex (thin arrow) at the apices of the epithelial cells is supplemented by numerous spot desmosomes (arrow head) on the lateral surfaces of the cells.

Villi (singular: villus) are tiny, finger-like structures that protrude from the wall of the intestine and have additional cell membrane extensions called microvilli (singular: microvillus). In humans, the villi and microvilli together increase intestinal absorptive surface area 30-fold and 600-fold, respectively, providing exceptionally efficient absorption of nutrients in the lumen. There are also enzymes on the surface for digestion. Villus capillaries collect amino acids and simple sugars taken up by the villi into the blood stream. Villus lacteals collect absorbed fatty acids.


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