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Module 15 in the Syllabus

Mammalian Tissues and Histology Images
Image gallery for study with links to larger teaching JPEGs for classroom presentation

Question Drill for Mammalian Tissues and Histology
Conceptual Vocabulary Self-Test

Basic Terms Crossword Puzzle

Basic Puzzle Solution

Conceptual Vocabulary
TissueA biological tissue is a collection of interconnected cells that perform a similar function within an organism.
EpitheliumEpithelium is a tissue composed of layers of cells which line the cavities and surfaces of structures throughout the body. It is also the type of tissue of which many glands are formed.
Connective tissueConnective tissue is largely a category of exclusion rather than one with a precise definition, but most tissues in this category are involved in structure and support, derived from mesoderm, and characterized by the traits of non-living tissue.
Squamous epitheliumSquamous epithelium is an epithelium characterised by its most superficial layer consisting of flat, scale-like cells.
Cuboidal epitheliaCuboidal epithelia are cube-shaped epithelial cells.
Simple cuboidal epitheliumSimple cuboidal eplithelia are epithelial cells with a cuboidal shape arranged in a single layer.
Stratified cuboidal epitheliumStratified cuboidal epithelia is epithelial tissue composed of cuboidally shaped cells arranged in multiple layers.
Columnar epitheliaColumnar epithelia are epithelial cells whose heights are at least twice their width.
Simple columnar epitheliumSimple columnar epithelium is made up of one layer of cells that are relatively thick and protective of the underlying tissues due to its elongated shape.
Stratified columnar epitheliaStratified columnar epithelia have several layers, with columnar cells as the outermost of these.
Goblet cellGoblet cells are glandular simple columnar epithelial cells whose sole function is to secrete mucus.
Adipose tissueAdipose tissue or fat is loose connective tissue composed of adipocytes.
HistologyHistology is the study of tissue sectioned as a thin slice, viewed under a microscope.
Basement membraneThe basement membrane is a structure that supports overlying epithelial or endothelial cells.
EndotheliumThe endothelium is the thin layer of cells that line the interior surface of blood vessels.
GlandA gland is an organ in an animal's body that synthesizes a substance for release, often into the bloodstream (endocrine) or onto a surface (exocrine).
HistopathologyHistopathology refers to the microscopic examination of tissue in order to study the manifestations of disease.
FixationFixation is a chemical process used in the fields of histology, pathology, and cell biology by which biological tissues are preserved from decay.
Antonie van LeeuwenhoekAntonie van Leeuwenhoek (1632 - 1723) was a Dutch tradesman and scientist who is commonly known as the Father of Microbiology.
Transitional epitheliumTransitional epithelia is a type of tissue consisting of multiple layers of epithelial cells which can contract and expand.
Basal laminaThe basal lamina is a layer on which epithelium sits and which is secreted by the epithelial cells.
EndocardiumThe endocardium is the innermost layer of tissue that lines the chambers of the heart.
Apical membraneThe apical membrane of a polarized cell is the part of the plasma membrane that forms its lumenal surface, distinct from the basolateral membrane.
Basolateral membraneThe basolateral membrane of a polarized cell is the part of the plasma membrane that forms its basal and lateral surfaces, distinct from the lumenal or apical surface.
Areolar connective tissueAreolar connective tissue (or loose connective tissue) is the most widely distributed connective tissue type in the body. It can be found in the skin as well as in places that connect epithelium to other tissues.
Extracellular matrixThe extracellular matrix is the extracellular part of animal tissue that usually provides structural support to the cells in addition to performing other functions. It is the defining feature of connective tissue in animals.
Dense connective tissueDense connective tissue has collagen fibers as its main matrix element.
Fibrous connective tissueFibrous connective tissue is a type of connective tissue which has relatively high tensile strength, due to a relatively high concentration of collagenous fibers.
AdipocyteAdipocytes are the cells that primarily compose adipose tissue, specialized in storing energy as fat.
White adipose tissueWhite adipose tissue is one of the two types of adipose tissue found in mammals, in humans, composing as much as 20% of the body weight in men and 25% of the body weight in women.
Brown adipose tissueBrown adipose tissue is present in many newborn or hibernating mammals as well as migratory birds. Its primary purpose is to generate body heat.
Optical microscopeThe optical microscope, often referred to as a light microscope, is a type of microscope which uses visible light and a system of lenses to magnify images of small samples.
Olfactory epitheliumThe olfactory epithelium is a specialized epithelial tissue inside the nasal cavity that is involved in smell.
Lamina propriaThe lamina propria is a thin layer of loose connective tissue which lies beneath the epithelium and together with the epithelium constitutes the mucosa.
MicrovilliThe microvilli are structures that increase the surface area of cells by approximately 600 fold, thus facilitating absorption and secretion.
MucinMucins are a family of large, heavily glycosylated proteins which are secreted on mucosal surfaces and in saliva.
MesotheliumThe mesothelium is a membrane that forms the lining of several body cavities: the pleura, peritoneum and pericardium.
FibroblastA fibroblast is a type of cell that synthesizes and maintains the extracellular matrix of many animal tissues.
Cell adhesion moleculeCell adhesion molecules are proteins located on the cell surface involved with the binding with other cells or with the extracellular matrix.
StromaStroma refers to the connective, non-functional supportive matrix or framework of a biological cell, tissue, or organ.
Reticular connective tissueReticular connective tissue is a type of loose irregular connective tissue which has a network of reticulated fibers that form a soft skeleton to support the lymphoid organs.
Histological sectionA histological section is a thin slices of tissue applied to a microscopic slide, usually around 5 to 10 micrometres thick, to be viewed under a microscope.
Pseudostratified epitheliumA pseudostratified epithelium is a type of epithelium that, though comprising only a single layer of cells, has its cell nuclei positioned in a manner suggestive of stratified epithelia.
Ground substanceGround substance is a term for the non-collagenous components of the extracellular matrix.
Elastic fiberElastic fibers (or yellow fibers) are bundles of protein elastin found in connective tissue and produced by fibroblasts and smooth muscle cells in arteries.
ImmunohistochemistryImmunohistochemistry refers to the process of localizing proteins in the cells of a tissue section by exploiting the principle of the specific binding of antibodies to antigens.
Hematoxylin and eosin stainHematoxylin and eosin stain is a popular staining method in histology. It is the most widely used stain in medical diagnosis.
Advanced terms that may appear in context in MCAT passages
CounterstainA counterstain is a histological stain with color contrasting to the principal stain, making the stained structure more easily visible.
EosinophilicEosinophilic means loves eosin, and refers to the staining of certain tissues, cells, or organelles after they been washed with eosin, a dye.
Buccal mucosaBuccal mucosa is mucous membrane of the inside of the cheek.
Germinal epitheliumThe germinal epithelium of Waldeyer is a layer of columnar cells covering the surface of the ovary.
HyaluronanHyaluronan, also called hyaluronic acid, is a non-sulfated glycosaminoglycan distributed widely throughout connective, epithelial, and neural tissues.
MicrotomeA microtome is a mechanical instrument used to cut biological specimens into very thin segments for microscopic examination.
ImmunofluorescenceImmunofluorescence is the labeling of antibodies or antigens with fluorescent dyes.
In situ hybridizationIn situ hybridization is a type of hybridization that uses a labeled complementary DNA or RNA probe to localize a specific DNA or RNA sequence in a portion or section of tissue.
Mucocutaneous zoneA mucocutaneous zone is a region of skin comprising both mucosa and cutaneous skin.
SelectinSelectins are a family of cell adhesion molecules that are single-chain transmembrane glycoproteins which share similar properties to C-type lectins due to a related amino terminus and calcium-dependent binding.
FluoresceinFluorescein is a fluorophore commonly used in microscopy, as well as in forensics and serology to detect latent blood stains.
Green fluorescent proteinThe green fluorescent protein is a protein of great use to fluorescence microscopy, comprised of 238 amino acids from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria that fluoresces green when exposed to blue light.
Van Gieson's stainVan Gieson's Stain is a mixture of Picric Acid and Acid Fuchsin, which represents the simplest method of differential staining of Collagen and other Connective Tissue.
Periodic acid-Schiff stainPeriodic acid-Schiff is a staining method used in histology and pathology primarily to identify glycogen in tissues.

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