Histology Glossary - D

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A Glossary of Histological and Micro-Anatomical Terms

Including historical origins and eponyms compiled by Dr Brian Freeman, Department of Anatomy, School of Medical Sciences, revised 2000.

Histology Glossary: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | ANAT2241 Support | Histology | Histology Stains | Embryology Glossary


Abbreviations: ( ) plural form in brackets, A. Arabic, abb. abbreviation, c. circa =about, F. French adj. adjective, G. Greek, Ge. German, cf. compare, L. Latin, dim. diminutive, NA. Nomina anatomica, q.v. which see, OF. Old French



dartos G. = skinned, flayed; a tunica surrounding the testes (Rufus, c. 100 AD).


Darwin, Charles Robert. 1809-1882 Famous English naturalist; D.'s theory of evolution; D.'s ear = congenital defformity of ear; D.'s tubercle = small projection from upper part of helix (first noticed by Thomas Woolner, sculptor, 1825-1892).


Deaver, John. 1855-1931 American surgeon; D.'s windows = fat-free portions of mesentery framed by vascular arcades adjacent to the attached margin of the intestine.


decidua basalis L. deciduus = falling off, from L. decidere = to fall off; that part of the endometrium invaded by the chorionic villi; unites with the chorion to form the placenta.


deciduous adj. L. " ; d. teeth = milk or primary teeth.


deferens L. = carrying away or down; cf. ductus deferens.


dehiscence L. dihiscere = to gape (open); a bursting open, as of a Graafian follicle, a surgical wound, a dying mast cell as it loses its granules.


Deiters, Otto Friedrich Karl. 1834-1863 Bonn anatomist & histologist; D.'s cells = phalangeal cells = outer sustentacular cells in organ of Corti (1860); D.'s nucleus = lateral vestibular nucleus.


demilune L. dimidius = half + luna = moon; crescent-shaped cap of serous cells over mucous alveolus in some salivary glands.


dendraxon G. dendron = a tree + axon, q.v., obsolete term for the terminal part of an axon; see telodendron.


dendrite G. dendron = a tree; a structure with a tree-like pattern; centripetal (= afferent conducting) process of a nerve cell soma.


dendritic spines gemmules, q.v.


dens L. = a tooth; hence dentate = toothed, with a serrated outline; denticulate ligament of spinal canal.


dentine L. dens = a tooth; apatite (calcifed tissue) of a tooth surrounding the pulp cavity, and covered by enamel.


dermis G. derma = skin; connective tissue bed for the epidermis; corium, q.v.


dermatoglyphics G. " + glypho = I carve; the impression left by moist sweat gland secretions on the epidermal ridges of fingers, toes, etc., which impression can be later revealed by finger-printing methods.


Descemet, Jean. 1732-1810 Paris anatomist, surgeon & botanist; D.'s membrane = basement membrane of corneal (posterior) endothelium (1758).


desmosome G. desmos = a bond, anchor rope + soma = body; intercellular bridge; patch component (i.e., macula adherens) of terminal bar.


desquamation shedding of squames, or shedding of cells from any epithelium.


detrusor L. detrudo = I thrust away; of the smooth muscle of wall of urinary bladder effecting micturition.


diapedesis G. dia = through + pedan = to leap; normal passage of red or white blood cells across an endothelium of a capillary.


diaphysis G. dia = apart + physis = growth; a gap between teeth; point of branching of a plant; shaft or mid-region of long bone between the growing ends.


diarthrosis G. dia = throughout + arthron = a joint; a perfect joint; a completely movable joint (Galen).


differentiation 1. embryological process by which different tissues and organs arise in ontogeny; 2. histological process of distinguishing different tissual components.


diploid G. diploo = to repeat (a process); having a (normal) double set of chromosomes = twice the haploid number (all somatic cells are diploid).


Disse, Joseph. German anatomist 1852-1912; space of D. in liver, between sinusoidal endothelium and hepatocytes (perisinusoidal space).


distal L. distare = to stand apart; away from the centre; opposite to proximal, q.v.


diverticulum (-a) L. = a by-road, from L. devertere = to turn aside; a blind-ended sac or pouch in wall of an organ.


Dobbie, William Murray. 1828-1915 English physician; D.'s line = Z-band of a striated muscle.


Dogiel, Alexander Stanislavovic. 1852-1922 Russian neurologist & histologist; D.'s corpuscle = encapsulated sensory ending.


DPX a 1939 synthetic mounting medium of distrene, plasticizer and xylene.


ductule L. ductulus = a little duct (dim. L. ductus ); bile ductules; efferent ductules; prostatic ductules.


ductus (-us) L. = passage from L. ducere = to lead; tube lined by epithelium for exocrine glandular secretions to reach surface.


ductus arteriosus L = arterial duct; a fetal vessel connecting left pulmonary artery with descending aorta; Botallo's duct; Arantius's duct.


ductus cochlearis L. = cochlear duct; scala media of membranous labyrinth.


ductus epididymidis L. duct of the epididymis; the duct is the main component of the epididymis, q.v.


ductus deferens L. = the duct carrying down (sperm to be ejaculated); secretory duct running from the epididymis to the prostatic urethra (actually carries sperm upwards!); the vas deferens.


ductus venosus L. = venous duct; the continuation of the fetal umbilical vein through the liver to the inferior vena cava.


duodenum L. duodenarius = containing twelve; first part of small intestine, 12 finger-widths long.


dura mater L. durus = hard + mater = mother, i.e., a protector; tough, collagenous membrane enveloping spinal cord & brain.




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Cite this page: Hill, M.A. 2017 Embryology Histology Glossary - D. Retrieved November 18, 2017, from https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Histology_Glossary_-_D

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