Difference Between Basal Cell and Squamous Cell

Basal and squamous cells are two types of cells found in epithelial tissue. The main function of epithelial tissue is to provide protection and support to organs in the body. It covers almost all the body surfaces or linings including skin, body organs such as nose, mouth, ear and other cavities, urinary, respiratory and reproductive tracts, and all blood vessels. All the cells in epithelial tissue are divided by mitosis.

Basal Cells

Basal cells are cubic or columnar shaped cells that form basal layer in epidermis. These cells are also found in other places, where epithelial tissue is found in the body. It is important to note that many other cell types in these tissues are derived from these basal cells.  All the basal cells are located on basement layer, which is a characteristic feature of epithelium tissue. Basal cells have a basophilic cytoplasm and an elliptical nucleus, which contains chromatin. In addition, basal cells contain desmosomes, gap junctions, and hemidesmosomes, which are important for cell-cell attachment, cell communication and connection with basal membrane and extracellular matrix respectively.

Squamous Cells

Squamous cells are flat-shaped cells found in epithelial tissue. Based on the cell arrangement, there are two types of squamous epitheliums; simple squamous and stratified squamous.  Simple squamous epithelium consists of a single layer of squamous cells. This tissue type can be found in the lining of blood vessels and body cavities, and parts of kidney tubules. Main functions of simple squamous cells are the protection and absorption. Stratified squamous epithelium contains several cell layers of squamous cells along with other types of epithelial cells such as cuboidal and columnar cells. Stratified squamous tissue can be found in epidermis, lining of mouth, esophagus, and vagina. Main functions of this tissue are protection, secretion, and absorption.

What is the difference between Basal Cell and Squamous Cell?

• The shapes of basal cells vary from cubic to columnar while that of squamous cells is flat-shape.

• Basal cells usually form the first single layer of cells, which lies on the basement membrane, whereas squamous cell are usually found on the basal cells.

• The main function of basal cells is the production of other cells in epithelial tissue, whereas the functions of squamous cells are secretion, protection, and absorption.