Talk:Embryology History - Carl Toldt

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Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2019, October 18) Embryology Embryology History - Carl Toldt. Retrieved from

Sehgal R & Coffey JC. (2014). Historical development of mesenteric anatomy provides a universally applicable anatomic paradigm for complete/total mesocolic excision. Gastroenterol Rep (Oxf) , 2, 245-50. PMID: 25035348 DOI.

Interestingly, in 1879, Carl Toldt made prescient observations prior to those of Treves when he described persistence of the mesocolon into adulthood (Figure 1). Toldt was an Austrian anatomist who was professor of anatomy in Prague and Vienna. He published his account pertaining to the structure and development of the human mesentery in 1879. In his anatomical textbook An Atlas of Human Anatomy for Students and Physician, Toldt illustrates persistence of the entire mesocolon into adulthood [31]. Toldt also identified a distinct fascial plane between the mesocolon and the underlying retroperitoneum, formed by the fusion of the visceral peritoneum of the mesocolon with the parietal peritoneum of the retroperitoneum (Toldt’s fascia). It is noteworthy that the original English translation of Toldt’s findings refers to a disparity between German and English terminology related to the mesocolon. In England, the term mesentery came to denote the peritoneal folds suspending freely mobile portions of the alimentary canal, and thus could not be reconciled with Toldt’s description of the mesocolon. The existence of a distinct descending mesocolon (in the English sense of the term) was rare. It is likely

History of the Institute

Charles University Institute of Histology and Embryology History of the Institute

Histology - the science of microscopic structure of organisms and embryology - the science describing the development of an individual, started to be formed as independent scientific fields in the 19th century on the basis of the progress in natural sciences on one hand and their methodologies and the development of the microscope and microscopic techniques on the other hand. Since the second half of the 19th century individual persons habilitated as professors in fields of histology and embryology, and they were engaged either with the Institutes of Anatomy or Institutes of Physiology. Their professional interests, however, were usually much wider than today's limits of the fields and were extended from paleontology over zoology and general morphology to comparative sciences. Independent Institutes of Histology and Institutes of Embryology then were founded in the last third of the 19th century.

A similar process took place also at the Prague Faculty of Medicine where particularly prof. Jan Evangelista Purkynje promoted histological and embryological research work at his institute and published several original microscopic and embryological studies (the dispute whether he or Theodor Schwann is the author of the cell theory has not been solved until today). In the 70ties of the 19th century, a similar climate ruled also at the Institute of Anatomy the head of which, Karl Toldt (co-author of the Toldt-Hochstetter atlas) supported the development of a new field of morphological research. Into such millieu, Sigmund Mayer, a newly habilitated physiologist from Vienna, came in the year 1870, and began to teach histology and embryology systematically at the Institute of Physiology. In 1872 he became a part-time professor of histology and embryology and with the effective support of professor Toldt he encouraged the foundation of an independent institute. Finally he succeeded in 1880 and the new institute was placed into a new building of the Institute of Anatomy (U nemocnice 3). Not before 1884 S. Mayer became the full-time professor of histology but by that time he was employed already with the German Faculty of Medicine that he joined after the division in the year 1882 and where he remained until the end of his active service. Mayer devoted himself mainly to histology of the nervous system (he described the growth conus). The first head of the Institute of Histology and Embryology of the Czech Faculty of Medicine, situated in the new building of theoretical institutes of the Czech Faculty of Medicine in Kateřinská street (today the buiding of the Deanery), became Jan Janošík, who habilitated as a professor of histology and embryology in 1884, the year of his becoming the head of the Institute as well. He was nominated professor of histology and embryology in the year 1884 (part-time) and in 1893 (full-time). In the year 1895 he left for the Institute of Anatomy (one floor down) where he was engaged till the end of his active service and therefore he is better remembered as a professor of anatomy than the founder of the Institute of Histology. As a histologist he was engaged above all in the studies of the uro-genitary system. The follower of Jánošík, Josef Victor Rohon born in Hungary, after his natural science and medical studies at the university of Vienna was employed in Terst and Neapoli as a zoologist. After graduation as a doctor of medicine and healer at the Faculty of Medicine in Munchen he worked in Russia as a geologist and a paleontologist. In the year 1895 he was habilitated as a professor of histology and embryology, and appointed the head of the Institute (full-time professor in 1903) and remained there until 1915 when he retired at the age of 70. As a histologist he focused his interest above all at studies of the central nervous system. Rohon´s disciple Otakar Srdínko, the author of the first Czech textbook of histology that gained the international renown became his successor in the chair of the head of the Institute in l9l5. Srdínko was an outstanding organizer and politician. In the capacity of the minister of education he carried out the foundation of universities in Brno and Bratislava and also the new building in Albertov was finished in 1926 under his capacity of the minister of agriculture. This building, today the Purkynje Institute, is unfortunately the last building devoted so far to the theoretical institutes of our Faculty. Srdínko focused his attention at the studies of pancreas and described, as the first one, the relation between its endocrine and exocrine parts. He died suddenly on Christmas day 1930 in his Institute. According to his own wish, his heart was deposited into an urn in the marmor board in the hall of the Purkynje Institute where from it was removed by the Nazis immediately on 15th March 1939 and it has never been returned back even in spite of great efforts of his family. Srdinko´s disciple and deputy Jan Wolf surprisingly did not become his successor, however, it was František Karel Studnička, summoned from Brno, an outstanding representative and advocate of the exoplasm theory. Studnička was in the head of the Institute till the year 1939 when he retired. Neither for the second time, after the Studnička´s leadership of the Institute, was prof. Wolf appointed the head of the Institute. It was by two years older Zdeněk Frankenberger, graduated at Prague Faculty of Medicine who after his habilitation in the year l9l8 was charged with establishing and running the Institute of Histology at the newly founded university in Lubljana (where he has been considered the father of Slovenian histology until today). He left Slovenia in 1921 for Bratislava to become there a professor of histology and embryology at the newly established university. He held the leading position in turns and also parallelly both at histology and anatomy till the year 1938 when he was released from the university bond as the undesirable Czech. Frankenberger was rather an embryologist with a great interest in comparative embryology but he was interested in studies of entomology as well and he was also one of our outstanding experts in the field of morphology of deer. Right after the appointment of prof. Frankenberger as the Head a draft was carried out and adopted by the Senate of the Faculty on establishing an independent Department of Histology under the heading of prof. Wolf from October lst, 1939. This solution had not been implemented because of the well-known events of the autumn of the year 1939 resulting in the closure of the Czech Schools of Higher Learning on the territory of the "Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia". In the building of Purkynje Institute there was situated the Prague expositure of Reichsinstitut "fur Blut - und Rassenhygiene", where prof. Max Watzka was significantly active, later on he was a long-term head of the Institute of Morphology of the Faculty of Medicine in Mayenee. Immediately after the liberation in May 1945 both professor Frankenberger and prof. Wolf started very intensively to revitalize the Faculty and teach in so-called "Lantern/ Lucerna courses". At the same time the equipment of German theoretical institutes was successfully maintained so that the teaching could begin at once. Above all the saving of the library meant that the professional library of the Institute has been equipped by historical scientific sources of unprecedented width and completeness. (That was unfortunately true only up to the year 1967 when the slow but systematic limitation of the possibilities how to obtain the contemporary scientific literature began and neither did it stop after the year 1989 resulting in the present situation when despite the ever increasing number of the titles of professional journals, only a small part of what used to be bought in the bad years of the 50ties comes to the library today). Under the new conditions, the Institutes started to work as already separated entities. The Institute of Histology was headed by prof. Jan Wolf (who studied mainly adrenal and salivary glands and focused also on the technical part of histology). He acquired the world fame by his discovery that surface structureless layer of dental enamel regenerates due to calcium ions contained in saliva where they are secreted by the cells of striated ducts and also by his method of imprinting of the surface relief that enabled the space studies in which he was by one generation ahead of the scanning electron microscope. After the war he became one of the pioneers of the electron microscopy in our country and with a great anticipation he understood the advantage of the transmission method over the reflection one. He kept his position until the year 1964 when he retired but even then he continued his research activities as the head of the Institute for the Studies of Cell and Tissue Ultrastructure at the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences (CSAV), an Institute that he founded in the 50ties and headed till his death. The running of the Institute of Histology was continued by Eduard Klika, Wolf´s disciple, who was at the head of the Institute till January 1990. His interests were devoted to comparative studies in morphology of respiratory organs and CNS. The Institute of Embryology was further headed by prof. Frankenberger except for the episode between the years 1948-50, when his activities at the Faculty were suspended. He returned fully rehabilitated, however, as he did not conceal his great aversion to the ruling ideology, he was not appointed an Academician and after having reached the age of 70 in the year 1962, he was pensioned off. He died suddenly in January 1966 at home "in full health". The successor of prof. Frankenberger and his disciple Zdeněk Vacek studied primarily the comparative morphology and functional features of the placenta. He paid his attention also to pedagogical problems and teaching of medical students and was a Vice-dean of the Faculty for many years as well. He was at the head of the Institute till January 1990. In June 1990 both Institutes fused again into one, the head of which became Zdeněk Lojda, he disciple of Frankenberger. All his life he was engaged in histochemistry and he became one of the classics at this field of morphology. He ranks first in the world in the field of histochemical detection of enzyme activities and his methodology studies are considered pillars of the field. He devotes his attention to studies of functional morphology of cells with the main focus on the histochemistry of enzymes in wide range of cells and organs. He has been also a devoted and charismatic teacher for several generations of morphologists engaged in histochemistry. His courses in histochemical techniques, organized in cooperation with the Brno Institute of Further Studies for the Paramedical Staff, were renowned for their contents and atmosphere. Prof. Lojda was the Vice-rector of UK in the years 1990-1993 and it was the merit of his that our University has been ranked back again among the respected and renowned schools of higher learning. After the period of his office, as the head of the Institute had finished, he has been in the head of the Laboratory for Histochemistry.