Q:

What is the basal lamina?

A:

Quick Answer

The basal lamina is an extracellular matrix that is also known as the "basement membrane." It is found in many different tissue types and provides support to epithelial cells throughout the body.

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Full Answer

The basal lamina consists of collagen and a variety of glycoproteins. All of these proteins bind to each other to make a strong, cross-linked matrix. All epithelial cells have a basal lamina that lies between them and an underlying connective tissue layer. The basal lamina helps connect the epithelial cells to the connective tissue layer and strengthen the epithelial tissues. Due to the connections that the basal lamina creates, epithelial cells are able to communicate with their underlying connective tissues. This allows epithelial cells to gain nutrients, move and adhere to other cell types.

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