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

Plate 3.34: Elastic Membranes; Collagenous Fibers

Aorta

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


ELASTIC MEMBRANES
COLLAGENOUS FIBERS
Aorta

 Plate 3.34: Elastic Membranes; Collagenous Fibers

Rat, Helly's fluid, H. & E., 162 x.

Compare this general staining method with that used in Plate 35. The general method used in this preparation allows differentiation of the various vessel wall components only by the variations in the intensity of staining. The pronounced eosinophilia of the elastic fibers reflects their high content of basic amino acids. See also Plates 152 and 156.

Elastic membranes: Abundant in the media of elastic arteries. The elastic fibers anastomose to form a fenestrated "membrane," which is circularly arranged in layers.

Smooth muscle nuclei: Smooth muscle fibers are located between the elastic fiber networks. Circularly disposed.

Collagen: In the adventitia, collagen forms a loose irregular connective tissue layer surrounding the blood vessel. Elastic fibers, not distinguishable by this method, are also found in this connective tissue coat.

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