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Anatomy Atlases: Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 1 - Cells Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 3 - Connective Tissue

Plate 3.27: Areolar Connective Tissue


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


Plate 3.27: Areolar Connective Tissue

Rat, 10% formalin, H. & E., 612 x.

Areolar connective tissue is so-named because of the many small areas or potential spaces that are seen within this tissue. It is the most widely encountered type of connective tissue and contains most of the connective tissue components.

Collogenous fibers: Coarse interlacing bundles of fibers that run in all directions in the connective tissue.

Elastic fibers: Slender network of branching fibers irregularly dispersed in the connective tissue. Smaller than the collagen fiber bundles.

Mast cell: A large cell with a small spherical nucleus and abundant cytoplasm containing coarse granules. Produces heparin and histamine. In some animals, 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin) is also produced by this cell.

Fibroblasts: Only nuclei are seen in this preparation. Nuclei are ovoid and larger than other connective tissue nuclei. Fibroblasts are the most common cell type found in areolar connective tissue. They synthesize and deposit collagen.

Lymphocyte: Only nuclei are seen in this preparation. Smaller than fibroblast nuclei, rounder and more deeply stained. They are not as abundant as fibroblasts.

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