Is there any surface in the (human) body that is not covered with epithelium?

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    $\begingroup$ Can you narrow down what you mean by "surface"? It might matter. $\endgroup$ – kmm Oct 8 '17 at 21:17
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    $\begingroup$ @kmm - It doesn't matter, really. $\endgroup$ – anongoodnurse Oct 9 '17 at 2:44
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    $\begingroup$ I don't know if I'm missing the point but I thougt that there is no epithelium on the surface of the teeth and the joints. $\endgroup$ – mioppli Mar 26 '18 at 9:25
  • $\begingroup$ @mioppli nobody seems to be refuting this - I'd post it as an answer, maybe. $\endgroup$ – arboviral Mar 26 '18 at 13:17
  • $\begingroup$ Are you referring to body cavity in the medical sense of the term (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_cavity) or something more colloquial like e.g. a skin fold? (Asking "in the body" sounds like you mean the medical sense to me.) $\endgroup$ – Armatus Mar 27 '18 at 8:45

Short answer
Edit with credits to anongoodnurse: As far as I know, every bodily surface and cavity is covered by epithelia.

Epithelial tissue is a sheet of cells that covers a body surface or lines a body cavity. There are two types of epithelium in the human body:

  • Covering and lining epithelium forms the outer layer of the skin; lines open cavities of the digestive and respiratory systems; covers the walls of organs of the closed ventral body cavity.
  • Glandular epithelium surrounds glandular tissue.

Hence, the entire the bodily surface is covered by some sort of epithelium. Even the eye is covered with squamous epithelia (thanks to anongoodnurse for pointing this out).

And while acknowledging that an absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, I believe that there is no surface on, or cavity in the body not lined with epithelium.

Fig. 1. Epithelial lining of bodily surfaces. source: Ternopil State Medical University

  • $\begingroup$ I wonder if there is any body cavity which is not connected with the outside of body and also it doesn't have epithelium. $\endgroup$ – Sepehr M Oct 13 '17 at 18:21
  • $\begingroup$ @SepehrM Depends on your definitions of "cavity" and "connected", I guess. I mean, would the ventricles of the brain count? They're full of CSF but typically described as cavities, and connected to each other but not to the outside (although this wouldn't answer your question directly, since they have epithelium). $\endgroup$ – arboviral Mar 26 '18 at 10:05

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