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

Plate 9.171 Spleen: Capsule

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


Plate 9.171 Spleen: Capsule

Human, Zenker's fluid, Mallory's stain, 612 x.


The spleen is concerned with 1. the production of lymphocytes and monocytes, 2. storage of red blood corpuscles and destruction of aged and damaged red blood corpuscles by lining cells of the sinuses and the macrophages of the splenic cords, 3. preservation of the iron freed from the breakdown of hemoglobin stored in the reticular cells and used subsequently in the formation of new hemoglobin, 4. clearance of particulate materials from the blood, 5. production of antibodies to antigens carried in the blood, and 6. storage of blood lipids in the reticular cells.

Mesothelium: A single layer of mesothelial cells that covers the free surface of the spleen except at the hilum.

Capsule: Dense fibroelastic tissue containing some smooth muscle fibers.

Red pulp: Loosely textured lymphatic tissue. Formed of anastomosing cords of tissue (Billroth's* or splenic cords) rich in cells that separate the venous sinuses.

See also Plate 175.

*Billroth was a nineteenth-century surgeon working in Zurich and Vienna.

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