Histology Glossary - P

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A Glossary of Histological and Micro-Anatomical Terms

 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
Including historical origins and eponyms compiled by Dr Brian Freeman, Department of Anatomy, School of Medical Sciences, revised 2000.
ANAT2241 Support | Histology | Histology Stains | Historic Terminology | 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

Pacchioni, Antonio. 1665-1726 Rome & Tivoli anatomist; Pacchionian bodies = arachnoid granulations (1705), q.v.

pachymenix G. pachys = thick + menix = a membrane; the dura mater.

Pacini, Filippo. 1812-1883 Pisa & Florence anatomist; lamellated (onion-like) corpuscles of Vater-Pacini in skin (1840); tendon sheaths.

palate L. palatum = roof of mouth.

palisade L. palus = stake; like a fence of stakes.

palmate folds cf. plicae palmatae.

palpebral adj. L. palpebra = eyelid, from L. palpitare = to move quickly.

pampiniform adj. L. pampineus = full of vine tendrils + forma = shape; a tangled mass of veins in spermatic cord.

pancreas G. pan = all + kreas = edible flesh; a sweetbread (though less of a delicacy than the thymus); intestinal exocrine & endocrine gland.

pancreatic islets small islands or clusters of endocrine cells in pancreas; cf. Langerhans.

panniculus adiposus L. = a little piece of cloth, a rag + L. adeps = fat (adiposus is a L. corruption); the hypodermis (Berengarius, 1524).

Paneth, Josef. 1857-1890 Breslau & Vienna physiologist; P. cells (1887) = eosinophilic cells at base of intestinal crypts of Lieberkühn.

papilla (-ae) L. = a teat, a nipple; a nipple-like projection, e.g., on the tonge (Malpighi, c. 1670; cf. circumvallate, filiform, foliate, fungiform, vallate); duodenal papilla (containing duodenal ampulla); optic papilla; renal papilla (Berengarius, c. 1480-1550).

papillary adj. L. "; of the most superficial layer of the dermis, containing fine collagen fibres immediately under the epidermis; of cardiac muscle fibres that form eminences on the inner surface of the ventricles.

para- G. = beyond, beside, near.

paradidymis G. " + didymos = testicle; remains of mesonephros situated on the spermatic cord above the epididymis= organ of Giraldès, q.v.; also = organ of Waldeyer.

paraganglion (-ia) G. " + ganglion = a swelling; clumps of chromaffin tissue scattered alongside sympathetic nerves in thorax and abdomen; cf. Zuckerkandl.

parakeratin G. " + keras = horn; a type of keratin formed in superficial cells at sites of abrasion and rapid epithelial renewal, e.g., gingiva, tongue, tonsillar crypts, palate.

parametrium G. " + metra = womb, uterus; loose, fatty connective tissue in the broad ligament around uterus.

parathyroid G. " + thyreos = a shield (cf. thyroid gland); gland lying "alongside" the thyroid.

parenchyma G. " + enkeim = to pour in; the essential functional cells of an organ as opposed to its stroma, q.v. (NB. the accent is on the "e", not the "y").

paries (-ities) L. paries = a wall; cf. body wall around a coelom q.v.

parietal adj. L. parietalis = relating to walls; the outer region or wall as opposed to visceral.

paroöphoron G. para = beside + öon = egg + phoros = bearing; minute tubules of the mesosalpinx lying adjacent to the uterine tube, derived from caudal part of embryonic mesonephros.

parotid G. para = beside + otos = of the ear; a salivary gland.

parous L. pario = I bear (children).

pars L. = a part; a part of an organ, or structure, e.g., pars iridica retinae; pars nervosa; pars distalis, etc.

PAS periodic acid & Schiff's reagent; histochemical stain for carbohydrates involving production of aldehyde groups by initial treatment with periodic acid, then reaction of these groups with Schiff's reagent to produce a magenta colour.

pearl 1. a concretion formed around a grain of sand, etc.; 2. a small tough mass of material, e.g., a keratin pearl, an enamel pearl, a pearl of mucus in sputum.

pectinate adj. L. pecten = a comb; musculi pectinati = muscular bands passing forwards from crista terminalis in wall of right atrium (including the crista, resembles a comb).

pedicel L. pediculus = a little foot, dim. L. pes ; stem attached to growing process; pedicles of podocytes in renal glomerulus.

pedicle L. pediculus = a little foot (dim. of L. pes = a foot); stem or connecting stalk of a tumour; bony process connecting the lamina of a vertebra to its body; renal pedicle = renal "stalk".

pellucidum L. per = through + lucere = to shine; translucent; e.g., zona pellucida of ovarian follicle; septum p. of brain.

pelvis L. = a basin.

penicillar adj. L. penicillum = a paint-brush, from L. penna = a feather; branching into many short segments, as in the penicillar arterioles of the spleen

penis L. = a tail.

pepsinogen G. pepis = digestion + gennan = to produce; a precusor of pepsin = enzyme that aids digestion.

peri- G. = around, about.

pericardium G. " + kardia = heart; of two types: visceral (covering the heart) and parietal (lining the pericardial sac).

perichondrium G. " + chondros = granule, gristle, cartilage; connective tissue and cellular layer surrounding cartilage.

pericyte G. " + kytos = hollow vessel; mesenchymal cell adjacent to capillaries.

perikaryon G. " + karyon = nucleus; body of a nerve cell surrounding its nucleus; soma, q.v.

perilymph G. " + L. lympha = clear fluid; a bastard term (from G. & L.) for fluid in bony labyrinth surrounding the membranous labyrinth; cf. endolymph.

perimysium G. " + mys = muscle; connective tissue around a muscle fascicle.

perineurium G. " + neuron = sinew; a lamellated sheath of connective tissue and cells around a nerve fascicle.

periodontal ligament or membrane G. " + odons = tooth; fibro-elastic tissue (including Shapey's fibres) joining the tooth to its alveolar socket in the bone.

periodontium G. " ; all the tissue around the root of a tooth.

periosteum G. " + osteon = bone; fibrous membrane covering bone, attached to bony matrix by Sharpey's fibres.

peripheral nervous system nerves and nerve cells outside the central nervous system; abb. PNS.

peristalsis G. " + stalsis = a contraction, from stellein = to constrict; progressive contractile wave along body tubes (Culpeper, 1655); adj. peristaltic.

peritoneum G. peri = around + teinein = to stretch around; membrane stretched around the lining of the abdominal sac and ensheathing some viscera; adj. peritoneal.

Perls, Max, 1843-1881 German pathologist; Perls' test for hemosiderin using the Prussian blue reaction/stain.

Peyer, Johann Konrad. 1653-1712 Schaffhausen, professor of Logic, Rhetoric & Natural Science; P.'s patches = aggregated lymphatic nodules in terminal ileum (1673).

phagocytosis G. phagein = to eat + kytos = cell + osis = a condition of; process by which a cell engulfs foreign particles, dead material, etc.

phalangeal adj. G. phalanx = a band of soldiers (a Greek army division in battle order); phalangeal cells = sustentacular cells in organ of Corti whose processes extend upwards between the hair cells like fingers; Deiters, q.v.

pharynx G. = throat; adj. pharyngeal (? G. pharanx = a cleft, chasm).

pheomelanin G. phaios = dusky red + melas = black; pigment found in red hair.

phlegm G. phlegma = thick mucus; one of four humours of early physiology; thought to be a discharge from brain; cf. pituitary.

Phloxine red cytoplasmic dye.

photoreceptor G. phos = light + L. recipio = I receive; bastard term for light-sensitive cells in retina.

physic G. physikos = natural; the art of medicine.

pia mater L. pius = soft, faithful (L. pietas was one of the cardinal virtues) + mater = mother; delicate vascular membrane which adheres to surface of brain and spinal cord, faithfully following their contours.

picric acid a yellow dye.

pilomotor L. pilus = a hair + motor = mover; causing hair movement; cf. arrector pili.

pineal L. pinea = pine cone; cone-shaped gland of the brain; cf. conarium.

pinocytosis G. pinein = to drink + kytos = cell + osis = a condition of; process by which a cell takes in droplets of fluid.

pituitary L. pituita = phlegm, snot; gland at base of brain thought to be responsible for nasal secretion, via perforations in cribriform plate of ethmoid (Vesalius, c. 1560).

placenta L. = a flat cake, from G. plax - = flat- ; (Ge. Mutterkuchen = "mother-cake" = placenta).

plasma G. = a thing formed; liquid component of lymph, blood; NB. plasma membrane = cell membrane.

plasmodium G. " + -oeides = like; a continuum of protoplasm in which many nuclei are embedded, e.g., placental plasmodium = syncytiotrophoblast.

plasmolysis G. " + lysis = solution; shrinkage of a cell due to osmotic pressure.

platelet OF. plate = flat; small, non-nucleated discoids in circulating blood derived from fragmentation of megakaryocytes.

pleomorphic G. pleon = more + morphe = form; varying in shape and size.

pleura (-ae) G. = rib, side; serous membrane covering lungs and lining thorax; parietal and visceral pleurae.

plexus (-i) L. = a braid; a woven network of linear structures, especially nerves.

plica (-ae) a corruption from L. plicare = to fold; in13th century a scalp infection endemic in Poland was called plica polonica (Polish plait); any kind of fold.

plicae circulares L. = circular folds; actually transverse folds that are not circular in small intestine = valves of Kerckring, q.v.

plicae palmatae L. " + palmatae = like palm trees; flat mucosal folds like palm fronds in uterine cervical canal.

podocyte G. podos = foot + kytos = hollow vessel (cell); cell in renal glomerulus with many feet (foot processes) and pedicels.

-poiesis G. = making or producing; suffix as in haemopoiesis, leucopoiesis.

polar body the smaller daughter nucleus of a fertilised dividing ovum.

polkissen Ge. = pole cushion; extraglomerular mesangial cells at vascular pole.

polychromatophilic G. polys = many + chroma = colour + philein = to love.

polymorphonuclear (abb. polymorph) adj. G. " + morphe = form; having a nucleus with different shapes (multiple lobes), e.g., a neutrophilic leucocyte.

polyploid G. " + -oeides = form of; G. = manifold; having several sets of chromosomes; cf. diploid, haploid, aneuploid.

polysome aggregation of ribosomes.

pore L. porus = hole, aperture; nuclear pore = aperture in nuclear envelope.

porta hepatis L. porta = door + hepatis = of liver; fissure at hilum of liver; NB. portal vein was vein entering porta hepatis.

porta lienis L. porta = door + L. lienis = of the spleen; fissure at hilum of spleen.

portal adj. L. portare = to carry; of a vascular system carrying blood between infundibulum and adenohypophysis = hypothalamohypophyseal portal system. (NB. portal vein is named from L. porta = door).

postcapillary venules smallest vessels which drain capillary beds into collecting venules.

postsynaptic membrane region of membrane on a second cell opposite a synaptic terminal of the first cell; cf. synapse.

prepuce L. praeputium = prepuce or covering of glans penis (? from G. pro + posthe = penis; or ? L. puteo = I stink, from smell of smegma, q.v.; thus uncleanliness is figuratively termed praeputia ).

presynaptic membrane region of a nerve cell at the synapse of a terminal bouton; cf. synapse.

progesterone G. pro = before + L. gerere = to bear; hormone from corpus luteum preparing the uterus for pregnancy.

prophase G. pro = before + phasis = phase, from phainein = to appear, to show; first stage in mitosis of somatic cells.

prostate G. pro = before + G. istanai = to stand, or ? L. statum = stood; standing before; male gland at base of ("before") bladder; Aristotle uses prostatai chirsoedeis = varicose prostate = seminal vesicles; Herophilus (c. 300 BC) uses prostatai adenoeideis = glandular prostate; Galen (c. 180 AD) uses prostatai for whole complex of seminal vesicles and prostate, based on animal dissections.

protoplasm G. protos = first + plasma = a thing formed; living matter (Purkinje).

proximal L. proxime = nearest (to the head, to a source, etc.); opposite to distal, q.v.

psammoma G. psammos = sand + oma = tumor; laminated concretions found in the pineal gland (cf. brain sand, acervulus)

pseudopodium (-ia) G. pseudos = false, fraud + podos = foot; temporary extension of a cell.

pseudostratified G. pseudos = false, fraud; simple epithelium where not all apical borders of cells reach lumen, thereby appearing to be stratified.

pseudounipolar G. " ; of a sensory ganglion cell, bipolar in embryo, but in adult having one axon which bifurcates into a central and a peripheral branch, the peripheral branch behaving as a dendrite, q.v.; cf. bipolar.

PTAH phosphotungstic acid and haematoxylin stain.

pubes L. = signs of manhood; hair of genital region.

pulmonary L. pulmo = lung.

pulp L. pulpa = soft, fleshy; central part of a tooth; parts of spleen; central part of a finger.

pulvinar L. = a cushioned couch (used by the gods); the raised posterior part of the thalamus, q.v.

punctum lacrimale L. = a point + of tears; opening of lacrimal duct at inner canthus of the eye.

pupil L. pupa = a girl, damsel, a doll (as in puppet); L. pupillae = small doll-like images seen mirrored in the eye, led to term pupilla for the central aperture of the iris (Cicero).

Purkinje (Purkyne), Johannes Evangelista, Ritter von. 1787-1869 Breslau pathologist, Prague physiologist; famous microscopist; early use of microtome; recognized importance of fingerprints (1823); P. cells = largest cerebellar neurones with extensive dendrites (1837); P. cells = conducting heart cells (1845); P. phenomenon = casting shadows of retinal blood vessels.

pyknotic G. pyknos = thick, close, compact + osis = condition; a nucleus with very condensed chromatin; a shrunken nucleus.

pylorus G. pyle = a gate + ouros = a guard; a gate-keeper, a janitor; distal, sphincteric orifice of stomach (Galen, c. 180 AD).

pyramidal cell G. pyramis = pyramid; cell in the cerebral cortex with a pyramid-shaped soma.

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. (2024, June 16) Embryology Histology Glossary - P. Retrieved from https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Histology_Glossary_-_P

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