File:Uterine tube histology 03.jpg

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Uterine Tube Histology

(oviduct, uterine horn, Fallopian tube)

The oviduct functions as a conduit for the oocyte, from the ovaries to the uterus. Histologically, the oviduct consists of a mucosa and a muscularis. The peritoneal surface of the oviduct is lined by a serosa and subjacent connective tissue.


  • formed by a ciliated and secretory epithelium resting on a very cellular lamina propria.
  • The number of ciliated cells and secretory cells varies along the oviduct.
  • Secretory activity varies during the menstrual cycle, and resting secretory cells are also referred to as peg-cells.
  • Some of the secreted substances are thought to nourish the oocyte and the very early embryo.


  • inner circular muscle layer and an outer longitudinal layer.
  • An inner longitudinal layer is present in the isthmus and the intramural part of the oviduct.
  • Peristaltic muscle action seems to be more important for the transport of sperm and oocyte than the action of the cilia.

Tube Anatomical Four Subdivisions

  1. Infundibulum is the funnel-shaped (up to 10 mm in diameter) end of the oviduct. Finger-like extensions of its margins, the fimbriae, are closely applied to the ovary. Ciliated cells are frequent. Their cilia beat in the direction of the ampulla of the oviduct.
  2. Ampulla - Mucosal folds, or plicae, and secondary folds which arise from the plicae divide the lumen of the ampulla into a very complex shape.. Fertilization usually takes place in the ampulla.
  3. Isthmus is the narrowest portion (2-3 mm in diameter) of the parts of the oviduct located in the peritoneal cavity. Mucosal folds are less complex and the muscularis is thick. An inner, longitudinal layer of muscle is present in the isthmus.
  4. Intramural part of the oviduct, which penetrates the wall of the uterus body. An inner, longitudinal layer of muscle is present.

Links: Uterus Development

Links: Histology | Histology Stains | Blue Histology images copyright Lutz Slomianka 1998-2009. The literary and artistic works on the original Blue Histology website may be reproduced, adapted, published and distributed for non-commercial purposes. See also the page Histology Stains.

Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2024, June 21) Embryology Uterine tube histology 03.jpg. Retrieved from

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© Dr Mark Hill 2024, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G Odu40he.jpg ovary, monkey H&E stain

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