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Definition of Epithelium

Epithelium: The outside layer of cells that covers all the free, open surfaces of the body including the skin, and mucous membranes that communicate with the outside of the body. By contrast the endothelium is the layer of cells lining the closed internal spaces of the body such as the blood vessels and lymphatic vessels (that convey the lymph, a milky fluid).

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=3293
Last Editorial Review: 8/28/2013

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