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General Microscopic Anatomy

 Also known as Histology

 deals with the study of minute parts or structures in the human body beyond the reach of the
naked eye
 it is the study of cells and the different tissues comprising the organs of the human body

General Structure of the Human Body

• The Human Body is a large structural unit composed of cells
• These cells are held together by varying amount of intercellular substance

Seven Levels of Organization for the Human body

1. Chemical level 2. Organelle 3. Cell 4. Tissue
5. Organs 6. Organ System 7. Organism

1. Chemical
• Structural and functional characteristics of all organisms are determined by their chemical make-up
• Involves interactions among atoms & their combination into molecules
• ex. Collagen molecules – strong ropelike fibers that give strength & flexibility of skin

• A small structure contained within a cell that performs one or specific functions
• Ex. Nucleus – contains the cell’s hereditary information

• The basic living unit of all plants and animals

• Is a group of dells with similar structure and function plus the extracellular substances located between
• 4 Primary Tissues :
1.Epithelial 2.Connective 3.Muscular 4.Nervous

5. Organs
• These are composed of 2 or more tissue types that together perform 1 or more common functions.

6. Organ System
• Group of organs classified as a unit because of a common function or set of functions
• 11 Major organ systems :
Integumentary, Skeletal, Muscular, Nervous, Endocrine, Cardiovascular,
Digestive, Urinary, Respiratory, Reproductive, Lymphatic

7. Organism
• Any living thing considered as a whole, whether composed of one cell (bacterium) or trillions of cell

Scope Of GMA / Histology

1. Cytology 2. Histology 3. Organology

• It is the study of individual cells and the different structures they contain

 deals with the study of minute parts or structures in the human body beyond the reach of the
naked eye
 it is the study of cells and the different tissues comprising the organs of the human body
• The study of organs or group tissues as a whole unit

IMPORTANCE of studying mhistology?

• Knowledge of the normal cell structure is a necessary basis
• Disease is accompanied by alterations of cell structure and to bring a cure the altered cells have to be
restored to their normal state and appearance

Methods of Studying histology

1. Study cells directly in the living intact animal
a. Blood cells in the capillaries of the web of a frog w/c is placed directly under the microscope
b. Exteriorazation and transillumination
 organs brought outside the body
 Placed in a suitable moist chamber
 Transilluminated and observed under an optical microscope
 Ex. ovulation
c. Use of transparent observation chamber
- device that can be placed in certain parts of the body, through which tissue behavior like
regeneration and vascular activities may be followed

2. Use of tissue culture

• Bits of tissues are placed in an incubator under proper medium (plasma) and grown indefinitely

3. Use of micro-dissection needles

• Use of fine delicate needles
• Function : to isolate, cut, tear or stretch cells and tissues

4. Use of motion picture records

• Use for the analysis of some cellular activities like mitosis and phagocytosis

5. Radiation Probes
• The microbeams of protons and beams of UV light to destroy certain structures of the cell leaving only
those that will be studied

6. Differential Centrifugation
• It is used to study individual organelles
• The tissue is centrifuged
• Organelles occupy different layers of the sediment according to the density gradient, the heaviest
occupy the lowest layer

7. Frozen Section
• Done in surgical biopsies to determine presence of cancer cells
• The tissue is cut with a freezing microtome and frozen microscopically

8. Freeze-drying method
• Tissue is frozen and dehydrated at low temperature in a high vacuum

9. Freeze substitution
• Alcohol or other more suitable solvents at very low temperature is used instead of ice

10. Use of Stains

• The staining of tissues is a measure of microchemical color reaction rendering the different cellular
structures more visibly prominent.
STEPS in the Preparation of Histologic Section
1. Obtaining the Specimen
2. Fixation
• Where small tissue or organ fragments are immersed in a fixative (Formalin)
• Preserves cell structure by:
1. coagulating the protein
2. preventing autolytic changes

3. Washing with running water

• To remove the fixative

4. Dehydration
• Involves immersion in a series of solutions containing increasing concentrations of alcohol
• Function : to remove the water content, this is because most embedding media (paraffin) are
immiscible in water

5. Clearing
• Immersion in several changes of 95 % alcohol-aromatic oil mixture, then pure aromatic oil which is
visible with paraffin

6. Paraffin infiltration and Embedding

• The specimen is treated with a liquid embedding medium (aromatic oil-parraffin)
at 60 ºC
• Function : infiltrates and hardens the specimen so that it can be sliced into thin sections suitable for
staining and microscopic examination
• Specimen
• With paraffin at 60 ºC
• Mold – hardened tissue
• Set aside to cool

7. Sectioning
• Cutting the paraffin-embedded sections into thin uniform slices
• How thin ? 5 – 15 microns
• Why ? To transmit light to study the morphology of cells

8. Mounting
• The specimen is placed on the Slide

9. Deparaffinization
• It involves the removal of the Paraffin
• How ? – the slide is dipped to several changes of xylene

10. Rehydration
• The water is put back
• Most stains used are aqueous preparations which are miscible with water
• Slide is dipped in decreasing contents of alcohol to remove xylene and replace with water

11. Staining
• The use of H and E stains
• H – hematoxylin – appears blue/black
• E – Eosin - appears pink/red

12. Dehydrate
• The tissue is covered with a cover slip
• Embryology
• it is the science that deals with the study of the anatomical and functional development of the
individual species

• Objective
- Show interest in viewing the actual microscopic appearances of the different tissues and organs.

• Psychomotor
- Focus and identify minute structures in the microscope
- illustrate cells and tissues as seen from the microscope
- Apply the skills acquired in related situations