Ronald A. Bergman, Ph.D., Adel K. Afifi, M.D., Paul M. Heidger,
Peer Review Status: Externally Peer Reviewed
Rhesus monkey, Helly's fluid, modified aldehyde fuchsin stain, 612 x.
This figure shows a commonly seen triad: a peripheral nerve, an arteriole, and a venule. The peripheral nerve is enclosed in a connective tissue sheath and is formed by a number of nerve fibers. Each nerve fiber is made up of an axon and its myelin sheath. The latter is unstained in this preparation. Surrounding each nerve fiber is a delicate connective tissue sheath, the encloneurium.
The arteriole shows the component layers. These are the adventitia (a connective tissue sheath) and the smooth muscle coat (tunica media), which is the thickest and most prominent coat of the arteriolar wall. Note the well-defined internal elastic membrane internal to the smooth muscle coat. The intima is an extremely thin layer. Erythrocytes fill the lumen of the arteriole.
The venule seen here is smaller than the adjacent arteriole. Typically, venules are larger than arterioles. Note that the bulk of the wall is made up of connective tissue adventitia, the other coats being thin and inconspicuous.
The stain used in this preparation is useful to differentiate muscular and connective tissue elements.
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