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Anatomy Atlases: Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 1 - Cells Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 1 - Cells

Plate 1.14: Four Basic Tissues

Epithelium, Connective,
Muscular, and Nervous tissues

Ronald A. Bergman, Ph.D., Adel K. Afifi, M.D., Paul M. Heidger, Jr., Ph.D.
Peer Review Status: Externally Peer Reviewed

Epithelium, Connective,
Muscular, and Nervous tissues

Plate 1.14: Four Basic Tissues

Rhesus monkey, Helly's fluid, H. & E., 612 x.

This figure shows the four basic tissues in one section.

Epithelial tissue is seen as secretory mucous gland cells. Note the formation of acini, a circular cluster of cells with a central lumen that is in continuity with the external free surface. The nuclei are flattened against the cell membrane at the base of the cell by the mucous droplets, which are tightly packed within the cytoplasm. The cytoplasm appears clear, or unstained, because the mucus is lost during tissue processing. A portion of the duct that links the gland cells with surface epithelium is seen in cross section.

Nervous tissue is represented by bundles of nerve fibers. Elongated nuclei associated with the nerve fibers are those of Schwann* cells, which elaborate the myelin sheath around axons.

A collagenous connective tissue sheath encloses the nerve fiber bundle and mucous glands.

A bundle of skeletal muscle fibers is seen in cross section. The muscle is infested with sarcosporidia. This parasite is commonly found in the muscle, both skeletal and cardiac, of monkeys, and more rarely in man. Note the polygonal shape of individual muscle fibers and the peripherally located nuclei.

In subsequent sections, the structure of the four basic tissues will be considered in detail.

*Schwann was a nineteenth-century German histologist.

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