Histology Glossary - S

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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.

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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



Sabin, Florence Rena. 1871-1953 American anatomist; studied development of blood, lymphatics & blood vessels.


sac L. saccus = sack, bag, from G. sakkos .


saccule L. sacculus = a little bag, a purse; 1. smaller of two sacs of membranous labyrinth of inner ear, 2. saccule of larynx.


salivary L. saliva = spittle.


salpinx G. = a trumpet; the uterine tube.


Santorini, Giovanni Domenico. 1681-1737 Venice anatomist; pupil of Malpighi; caruncula of S. = orifice of accessory pancreatic duct into duodenhum; duct of S. = accessory pancreatic duct; superior nasal concha.


Sappey, Marie-Philibert-Constant. 1810-1896 Paris anatomist; S.'s plexus = plexus of lymphatic vessels in areola of breast (caput medusae); para-umbilical veins.


sarcolemma G. sarkos = flesh + lemma = rind, husk; plasma membrane plus basement membrane of a single muscle cell.


sarcomere G. " + meros = a part; repeating unit (segment) of myofibril from one Z-disc to the next.


sarcoplasm G. " + plasma = a thing formed; cytoplasm of a muscle cell.


sarcoplasmic reticulum endoplasmic reticulum of a muscle cell.


satellite cell modified neurilemmal (Schwann) cells which surround a cell soma in a ganglion.


Sattler, Hubert. 1844-1928 Austrian ophthalmologist; S.'s layer = elastic lamina in the tunica vasculosa of choroid.


scala (-ae) L. = stairs, spiral staircase, from L. scandere = to climb; any one of three spiral passages of cochlea which lead to helicotrema, or to cupula.


scala media G. " + L. medius = middle; spiral of middle cochlear duct lying between scala vestibuli and scala tympani, containing endolymph.


scala tympani G. " + tympanon = drum; the spiralling cochlear duct below spiral lamina, containing perilymph and ending at round window near tympanic membrane.


scala vestibuli G " + L. vestibulum = cavity at beginning of canal; the spiralling cochlear duct above spiral lamina, containing perilymph, beginning near the vestbule and ending where it communicates with the scala tympani at the helicotrema.


Scarpa, Antonio. 1747-1832 Moderna, Pavia anatomist & surgeon, pupil of Morgagni; excellent medical artist; S.'c canals = lesser incisive canals of teeth; S.'s fascia = membranous layer of superficial fascia of abdomen (1823); S.'s ganglion = vestibular ganglion.


Schiff, Hugo. 1834-1915 German biochemist; S.'s reagent is Basic Fuchsin bleached with sulphurous acid, used for detection of aldehydes; cf. PAS.


Schleiden, Matthias 1804-1881 Jena, Dorpat & Franfurt botanist; early supporter of Darwin; plant microscopist and discoverer of the universality of the cell in plant structure (1838), cf. Schwann.


Schlemm, Friedrich. 1795-1858 Berlin anatomist; canal of S. = sinus venosus sclerae draining aqueous humour at corneo-scleral junction of eye (1830).


Schmidt, Henry D. 1823-1888 New Orleans pathologist; Schmidt-Lanterman clefts in myelin sheath; internodes.


Schneider, Conrad Viktor. 1610-1680 Wittenberg physician; discovered location of olfactory nerve endings (1655); membrane of S. (Schneiderian membrane) = nasal mucous membrane = nasal mucosa.


Schwalbe, Gustav A. 1844-1916 German anatomist; S.'s ring = anterior limiting ring = limbus marking edge of cornea at termination of Descemet's membrane and anterior border of trabecular meshwork, q.v.


Schwann, Theodor. 1810-1882 Student of Johannes Müller in Berlin; Louvain & Liège anatomist & physiologist; discovered pepsin (1835); recognized cell is basic unit of life (1838, founder of cell theory with Schleiden, q.v.); showed bile is essential for digestion (1844); S. cells = neurilemma cells making myelin sheath; sheath of S. = neurilemma = myelin sheath (1839).


sclera G. skleros = hard; tough, fibrous outer layer of eyeball.


scrotum a corruption of L. scortum = a skin, hide; scrotum cordis = early term for pericardium.


sebaceous adj. L. = fatty; of skin glands producing sebum.


sebum L. = tallow, suet, grease; the secretion from sebaceous glands.


secretion L. secretus = separated; production of materials by glandular activity.


seminal vesicle L. seminalis = of seed + vesicula = a little bladder; accessory gland of male reproductive system, which does not normally contain semen, but may do so due to a post-mortem reflux.


seminiferous adj. L. semen = seed + ferre = to produce; of a tubule in testis which produces spermatozoa.


septum (-a) L. saeptum = fenced in; hence, a flat partition; e.g., septum pellucidum.


serosa L. serum = whey; a pale fluid; a serous membrane lining body cavities.


serous adj. L. = having nature of serum.


serratus L. = notched like a saw.


Sertoli, Enrico. 1842-1910 Milan physiologist, histologist; S. cells = sustentacular cells of seminiferous tubules.


serum L. = whey (watery part of curdled milk); yellowish watery fluid remaining after blood clotting; adj. serous.


sesamoid G. sesamoeides = like grains of sesame; of small bones formed inside tendons (Galen, c. 180 AD).


Sharpey, William. 1802-1880 London anatomist & physiologist; S.'s penetrating fibres = collagen fibres penetrating into bone from periosteum or tendon, or into dentine of tooth from periodontal membrane (1848).


Sherrington, Charles Scott (Sir). 1857-1952 Liverpool & Oxford physiologist; Nobel Prize (1932); dermatomes, the segmental skin fields of sensory nerves (1892).


Shrapnell, Henry Jones. ?-1834 military surgeon, London; S.'s membrane = flaccid part of tympanic membrane (1832).


sinus L. = a hollow, a curved space; usually a larger vessel, or space, which may contain air, blood, or lymph.


sinusoid L. " + G. -oeides = like; a tiny vessel with a tortuous path and many connections to similar vessels, e.g., hepatic sinusoids, bone marrow sinusoids.


skeleton G. skeletos = dried.


Skene, Alexander Johnston Chalmers. 1838-1900 American gynecologist; S.'s glands = para-urethral glands of female (1880).


smegma G. = soap; an accumulation of sebum and desquamated epithelial cells under the prepuce in the male.


soma (-ata) G. = body, mortal part of body (as opposed to G. psyche = soul); cell body.


somatic adj. G. " ; of cells of the body excluding cells of the viscera and sex cells.


spermatogenesis G. sperma = seed + gennan = to produce; process by which sperms mature.


spermatogonium (-ia) G. " + gone = generation; the immature male germ cell.


spermatozoon (-oa) G. " + zoon = animal; mature male germ cell (abb. sperm).


spermiogenesis process whereby spermatid is transformed to spermatozoon, the last stage of spermatogenesis.


sphincter G. sphinkter = a binder, from sphingo = I strangle; a ring-like muscle controlling an aperture.


spicule L. spiculum = a dart; a hard, needle-like structure, e.g., spicules of bone in cancellous bone (most spicules are lamellae).


spinosum L. spina = thorn.


spiral lamina a double plate (upper & lower) of thin bone projecting from modiolus into cochlear canal of bony labyrinth; site of inner attachment for basilar membrane; dendrites of cochlear nerve run between the two bony plates.


spiral limbus = limbus of spiral lamina the thickened periosteum of the upper plate of the bony spiral lamina


spleen L. splen , or (by dropping " sp ") lien = spleen.


splenic corpuscle elongated mass of lymphoid tissue forming a cuff around a central artery or arteriole of the spleen.


spongiose G. spongia = a sponge, e.g., corpus spongiosum.


spongy bone cf. cancellous bone which has numerous interconnecting spaces.


squamous adj. L. squama = scale (of a fish), a paving stone; of an epithelium with flat cells.


stapes L. = a stirrup, from L. stare = to stand + pes = a foot (prior to c. 4th century AD, Greeks & Romans did not have stirrups); smallest of middle ear ossicles.


stellate adj. L. stella = star; star-shaped; stellate reticulum is the pulp of the enamel organ of a developing tooth.


Stensen (Steno), Niels. 1638-1686 Copenhagen anatomist; wrote extensively on anatomy in Rome; became a catholic, Bishop of Titiopolis; travelled widely; S.'s canals = greater incisive canals; S.'s duct = parotid duct.


stereocilia G. stereos = solid + L. cilia = hairs; long, branching microvilli on epithelial cells of ductus epididymidis.


stereology G. " + logos = study, knowledge; interpretation of three dimensional form based on study and mathematical analysis of two dimensional sections.


steroid G. " + -oeides = form; sex hormones and adrenal cortex hormones.


stomach G. stomachos = gullet or oesophagus, from G. stoma = a mouth + cheo = I pour; lower end of the gullet; organ attached to lower end. NB. Greeks used gaster for stomach.


stratum (-a) L. = layer, bed-covering, sheet; of layers in the skin: cf. basale, spinosum, germinativum, granulosum; lucidum, corneum; rete Malpighii.


stria L. = a channel, a furrow, a flute in a column.


striate cortex = visual part of cerebral cortex, so named because of distinct stria of Gennari, q.v.


striated border L. striatus = striped; light microscopic term for the fine microvilli on intestinal absorptive cells.


striated duct L. "; duct in an exocrine gland characterised by radial streaks in basal region of epithelial cells.


stroma G. = a cover, table-cloth, bedding; strictly, an incorrect term for the internal supporting frame-work of a tissue, or organ, as opposed to its parenchyma.


subcutis L. sub = under + cutis = skin; hypodermis = superficial fascia = tela subcutanea.


submandibular adj. L. " + mandibula = jaw.


succus entericus L. = juice + of the intestine.


succus gastricus L. = juice + of the stomach.


sulcus L. = a furrow, from sulcare = to plough.


superciliary adj. L. super = above + cilium = eyelid; relating to eyebrow.


sustentacular L. sustentaculum = a support, a prop; of nurse cells supporting the activity of a principal cell type.


suture L. sutura = a seam (in sewing).


Swammerdam, Jan. 1637-1680 Dutch physician, became a melancholic and religious mystic; described blood cells (1658), valves of lymphatics (1664); constancy of muscle volume during contraction.


Sylvius (= François de la Boë). 1614-1672 Amsterdam & Leiden physician; aqueduct or iter of S. = cerebral aqueduct (1660); fissure of S. = lateral fissure of cerebral hemisphere (1641).


symphysis G. syn = with, together + physis = growth; a growing together; a line of fusion between two bones; a type of joint where bones are separated by fibrocartilage.


synapse G. syn = with, together + aptein = to touch, to join; point of contact; of junction for chemical/electrical tansmission between contiguous cells, usually neurones (Sherrington); cf. neuromuscular junction; postsynaptic membrane.


synapsis G. " ; the junction of two homologous chromosomes during meiosis, to form bivalents.


synarthrosis G. syn = together + arthrosis = of a joint; an immovable joint.


synchondrosis G. " + chondros = gristle + osis = state of; a junction of two bones by cartilage, usually the epiphyseal disc which gradually ossifies.


syncytiotrophoblast G. syn = together + kytos = hollow vessel + trophe = nourishment + blastos = germ; outer layer of epithelium covering chorionic villi of conceptus.


syncytium G. syn = together + kytos = hollow vessel; a single multinucleated mass of protoplasm with many nuclei.


syndesmosis G. " + desmos = bond, ligament + osis = state of; a junction of two bones by fibrous tissue, e.g., inferior tibiofibular joint.


synostosis G. " + osteon = bone; junction between two bones made of bone, e.g., bones of skull after sutures are complete (c. 26 years), junction of a diaphysis with an epiphysis when growth of a long bone has ceased.


synovia G. " + L. ovum = egg; like egg-white; fluid in a freely moveable joint (Paracelsus, c. 1520, first used the term for any watery fluids from any organ).


synovial membrane the lining of a joint space (other than the articular cartilage) which produces synovia.





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

Cite this page: Hill, M.A. 2017 Embryology Histology Glossary - S. Retrieved August 20, 2017, from https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Histology_Glossary_-_S

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