Terminology Service for NFDI4Health

intestinal villus

Go to external page http://purl.obolibrary.org/obo/UBERON_0001213

the tiny hair-like projections that protrude from the inside of the small intestine that contain blood vessels that capture digested nutrients that are absorbed through the intestinal wall; the villi increase the absorptive surface area of the small intestine by approximately 30-fold [ http://www.informatics.jax.org/accession/csmith http://www.informatics.jax.org/accession/rbabiuk ]

Term info


intestinal villus

  • enteric villi
  • enteric villous
  • enteric villus
  • intestinal villi
  • villi intestinales
  • villus
  • villus intestinalis (intestinum tenue)
database cross reference

uberon_slim, pheno_slim, vertebrate_core

plural term
intestinal villi [ ZFA : 0005125 ]

plural term
enteric villi [ HP : 0011473 ]

plural term
villi intestinales

depicted by


editor note

in mammals, villi are (largely?) absent from the large intestine, so we treat this as equivalent to small intestinal villus. small/large subdivision may not make sense for all species for which this is present (see ZFA). Note that VHOG quotes ISBN:978-0030223693 as suggesting there are some villi in the large intestine

external definition

The entire digestive tract is lined by well developed villi, which are longest in the intestinal bulb and decrease progressively in size towards the caudal end of the intestine. No crypts are present, but, the regions between the villi, the intervillus pockets, have a crypt-like function. Cells are produced in the intervillus pockets and shed from the villus tips. Crosnier et al. 2005[TAO]

external ontology notes

the BTO class refers to a generic villous

has alternative id


has related synonym

small intestine villus, villi intestinales, intestinal villus layer