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Anatomy Atlases: Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 1 - Cells Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 8 - Cardiovascular System

Plate 8.159 Capillary Basement Membrane

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

Gastrocnemius muscle, myasthenia gravis

Plate 8.159 Capillary Basement Membrane

Human, glutaraidehyde-osmium
fixation, toluidine blue stain, 1416 x.


Capillary: Extensive network, one red blood cell in diameter, found between the muscle fibers. A single red blood corpuscle fills the lumen. Arrowheads point to thickened basement membranes.

Striated muscle, cross section: Distinct A and I bands. Further details of skeletal muscle structure are seen in Plates 66, 67, and 71.

Muscle nucleus: Characteristic subsarcolemmal location in skeletal muscle.

Basement membrane: Usually quite thin and difficult to visualize in normal tissue, it is shown here abnormally thickened around capillaries. Composed of protein polysaccharicles. Thickening of the capillary basement membrane has been described in this and other muscle disorders, in diabetes mellitus, and in some kidney diseases.

Red blood cell: Fills the lumen of a capillary and is a useful, but rough, internal measure. In man, the red blood corpuscle is approximately 6.0 gm in diameter in tissue sections. The diameter of blood cells varies markedly owing to species differences, disease states, and methods of preparation. It is important to remember, therefore, that the red cell gives an "order of magnitude" only if used as an internal measure.

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