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Anatomy Atlases: Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 1 - Cells Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 9 - Lymphatic System

Plate 9.170 Thymus

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


Plate 9.170 Thymus

Human, 10% formalin, H. & E., A. 162 x., B. 612 x.


In A, note the cortex of the thymic lobule, composed of densely packed lymphatic tissue, and the medulla, composed of looser lymphatic tissue containing Hassall's corpuscles. The latter are diagnostic for the thymus. They vary in size and are formed of concentrically arranged polygonal or flattened cells with a hyalinized degenerated core.

In B, a Hassall's* corpuscle is seen at higher magnification. Note also the abundance of lymphocytes and the epithelial reticular cells. The latter are characterized by a large pale nucleus and are derived from embryonic entoderm rather than from mesenchyme.

*Hassall was a nineteenth-century English physician.

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