BGDA Practical - Female Reproductive Tract Histology
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Objectives
- 3 Ovary
- 4 Uterine Tube
- 5 Uterus
- 6 Vagina
- 7 Mammary Gland
- 8 Terms
- 9 Glossary Links
| Moodle Lab Slides - Female Reproductive Tract
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- Gain an overview of the microanatomy of the female reproductive system.
- Undertake a microscopical examination of the ovary, oviduct, uterus, cervix, vagina and mammary glands. The functional significance of the various histological structures identified will be discussed.
The external surface of the ovary has a cuboidal epithelium (germinal epithelium) overlying a dense connective tissue layer (tunica albuginea). The outer epithelium is continuous with the peritoneum (serosa) forming a peritoneal fold (mesovarium) between the anterior border of the ovary with the posterior layer of the broad ligament of the uterus.
Ovary structure (regions)
- cortex - cellular connective tissue containing the developing follicles.
- medulla - loose connective tissue containing blood vessels, lymphatics and nerves.
Hormone secretion in the corpus luteum ceases within 14 days after ovulation if the oocyte is not fertilised. In this case, the corpus luteum degenerates into a corpus albicans - whitish scar tissue within the ovaries.
(oviduct, Fallopian tube)
- uterine tube acts as a conduit for the oocyte, from the ovaries to the uterus.
- consists of a mucosa and a muscularis.
- peritoneal surface of the oviduct is lined by a serosa and subjacent connective tissue.
- parts - body (upper two-thirds) and cervix.
- walls - mucosal layer, the endometrium, and a fibromuscular layer, the myometrium.
- peritoneal surface of the uterus is covered by a serosa.
- smooth muscle fibres form several layers with preferred orientations.
- muscular tissue hypertrophies during pregnancy.
- GAP-junctions between cells become more frequent.
- simple columnar epithelium (ciliated cells and secretory cells) and an underlying thick connective tissue stroma.
- mucosa is invaginated to form many simple tubular uterine glands.
- glands extend through the entire thickness of the stroma.
- stromal cells of the endometrium are embedded in a network of reticular fibres.
- hormones alter the endometrium.
- only the uterus body mucosa takes part in the menstrual cycle.
- endometrial layers (based on changes)
- basalis - remains during menstruation, functions as a regenerative zone for the functionalis.
- functionalis - lost during menstruation, functions as the site of cyclic changes in the endometrium.
- Uterus Histology Links: Labeled - proliferative phase | Labeled - gland proliferative phase | Labeled - secretory phase | Unlabeled - secretory phase | Unlabeled - late secretory phase | Labeled - gland secretory phase | Menstrual Cycle | Uterine Gland | Uterus Development
- Links: Menstrual Cycle - Histology
The mammary glands are modified glands of the skin and their development is similar to that of sweat glands.
- compound branched alveolar glands, secretory unit is the alveolus
- consist of 15-25 lobes separated by dense interlobar connective tissue and fat.
- each lobe contains an individual gland.
- lactiferous duct - excretory duct of each lobe with own opening on the nipple.
- inner layer of cuboidal secretory epithelial cells
- merocrine secretion, protein micelles are release by exocytosis.
- outer layer of myoepithelial cells
- located between the secretory cells and the surrounding basal lamina.
- contraction helps force the milk from the secretory alveoli into the ducts.
Note - plasma cells in the stroma also secrete antibodies (dimeric IgA) and released into the milk, to provides passive immunity to the suckling young.
|lactiferous duct||lactating mammary gland|
- corona radiata - layer of cells of cumulus oophorus remaining attached to zona pellucida of oocyte after ovulation.
- corpus - (Latin, corpus = body).
- corpus albicans - (Latin, corpus = body + albicans = "whitish") a degenerating corpus luteum in the ovary.
- corpus luteum - (Latin, corpus = body + luteum = yellow) major endocrine organ which is the remains of ovarian follicle after ovulation; yellow in ovary of cow where de Graaf (q.v.) first saw it.
- cortex - (Latin = rind, or bark) outer layer of an organ.
- cumulus oophorus - (Latin = cumulus = a little mound + Greek oon = egg + phorus = bearing) part of the wall of an ovarian follicle surrounding and carrying the oocyte.
- fimbria - (Latin, fimbria = a fringe) the fringed open ovarian end of the uterine tube.
- follicle - (Latin, folliculus = little bag).
- hilum - or hilus (Latin,= a trifle; depression in a seed) a depression at vascular entrance/exit of a gland or organ.
- mesovarium - short peritoneal fold connecting the anterior border of the ovary with the posterior layer of the broad ligament of the uterus.
- medulla - (Latin, medulla = pith, marrow) the inner portion of an organ, in contrast to cortex.
- menstrual - (Latin, menstruus = monthly) relating to the monthly female sexual cycle.
- mucosa - (Latin, = mucous membrane) thin layer which lines body cavities and passages formed by epithelium and lamina propria.
- oocyte - (Greek, öon = egg + kytos = hollow vessel (cell) the female germ cell in the ovary.
- parenchyma - (Greek," + enkeim = to pour in) the essential functional cells of an organ as opposed to its stroma.
- salpinx - (Greek, = a trumpet) the uterine tube.
- serosa - (Latin, serum = whey; a pale fluid) a serous membrane lining body cavities.
- stroma - (Greek, = a cover, table-cloth, bedding) term for the internal supporting frame-work of a tissue, or organ, as opposed to its parenchyma.
- tunica albuginea - a dense, white, fibrous sheath enclosing a part or organ.
- uterine tube - (oviduct, Fallopian tube)
- uterus - (Latin, = womb, from uter = a large goatskin bag used as a wine-skin).
- zona pellucida - (Latin, zona = a girdle + perlucere = to shine through) the refractile layer of glycoclayx (ECM) surrounding oocyte in a growing ovarian follicle.
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Cite this page: Hill, M.A. 2017 Embryology BGDA Practical - Female Reproductive Tract Histology. Retrieved March 27, 2017, from https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/BGDA_Practical_-_Female_Reproductive_Tract_Histology
- © Dr Mark Hill 2017, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G