ANAT2511 Introduction to Histology

From Embryology

ANAT2511 Fundamentals of Anatomy This histology practical support page content is not part of the histology practical class and provides only background information for student self-directed learning purposes. Histology lecturer notice.


  1. To learn how to use virtual microscopy for studies in histology and to recognise parts of a cell and common features of cells and tissues.
  2. To recognise common features and differences between cells (e.g. size, shape, nuclear appearance, secretory components, microvilli and cilia).


Human Anatomy, Marieb et al., 6th ed., pages 23‐46

Learning Activities

  1. Examine the following virtual microscope slides and find examples of cells of different sizes and shapes.
  • Virtual Microscopy - Cells and Types of Tissue (6 slides)
  • The image links are located in the ANAT2511 folder on the computer desktop.
  • Identify examples of the following cellular components: nucleus, nucleolus, densely packed rough endoplasmic reticulum (rough ER), microvilli, and cilia.

Blood Smear

The images below show some of the types of cells found in the normal blood.

  • Note that the white blood cells all contain a nucleus (stained blue), while the red blood cells have no nucleus only cytoplasm (stained pink).
    • The white blood cell nucleus can also have different shapes in different cells.
  • Red blood cells also appear as "donuts" as they are thinner in the centre and thicker at the periphery.
    • When the cytoplasm is thicker the staining appears darker, when the cytoplasm is thinner the staining appears lighter.

Neutrophil 01.jpg Monocyte 01.jpg

The following image is a scanning electron microscope image of a red blood cell (erythrocyte), a platelet (thrombocyte) and a white blood cell (lymphocyte).

Erythrocyte and lymphocyte SEM02.jpg

  • Electron microscopes have a higher resolution than a light microscope (virtual slides).
  • Image shows the relative cell sizes and shapes (morphologies).
  • Remember a platelet (thrombocyte) is not a cell, but circulating part or a fragment of a cell.

Spinal Cord

Spinal cord and spinal nerve anatomy

Low power image of the spinal cord cut in cross-section (XS).

Spinal cord histology 01.jpg Spinal cord histology 02.jpg


Trachea anatomy

Respiratory histology 05.jpg Respiratory histology 06.jpg

Small Intestine

Intestines showing the duodenum

Course Links

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

Virtual slides

Pages require student zpass to access.

ANAT2511 | Virtual Microscopy, Cells and Types of Tissue | Selected Basic Tissues | Histology of Bone and Joints | Histology of Muscle | Histology of Nervous Tissue | Integumentary System | Circulatory System Histology | Respiratory System Histology | GIT Histology | Urinary System Histology

Practical support

Pages can be accessed from any internet connected computer.

ANAT2511: Practical 1 Introduction to Histology | Practical 3 Basic Tissues | Practical 5 Bones and Joints | Practical 7 Muscle Tissue | Practical 9 Nervous Tissue | Practical 11 Integumentary (Skin) System | Practical 13 Circulatory System | Practical 15 Respiratory System | Practical 17 Gastro‐intestinal Tract, Liver and Gallbladder | Practical 19 Urinary System | Histology Drawings