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

Plate 3.29: Plasma Cells

Lamina propria

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

Lamina propria

 Plate 3.29: Plasma Cells

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

Plasma cells, although uncommon in loose connective tissue, are plentiful in the lamina propria of the digestive tract. Note the ovoid shape of the cell, the eccentric round or oval nucleus, and the intensely basophilic cytoplasm. The less densely stained area of the cytoplasm in juxtaposition to the nucleus contains the Golgi complex and centrioles. Nuclear chromatin is characteristically clumped around the periphery of the nucleus and produces, in negative image, a radial pattern resembling the spokes of a wheel. The basophilia of the cytoplasm is shown by electron microscopy to be due to an extensive system of membrane-bound ribonucleoprotein. These cells produce antibodies.

Note the bilobed nucleus characteristic of human eosinophils in loose connective tissue. Eosinophils reach the lamina propria from the blood capillaries. The coarse, intensely eosinophilic granules of this cell are shown in Plate 59. See also Plate 198.

Compare the size of lymphocytes and plasma cells. Note that the nucleus of the lymphocyte fills most of the cell, with only a thin rim of basophilic cytoplasm around it. Some of the lymphocytes in the lamina propria migrate through the epithelium to the lumen, where they are eliminated.

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