6-year program SYLLABUS – Histology 2009/10
Lectures: Thursdays, 12.15-13.45
Labs: Fridays; 13.30-15.45 Groups 1, 2, 3
16.15-18.30 Groups 4, 5, 6
Principles of light and electron microscopy. Magnification and resolving power. Types of light
and electron microscopes. Practical use of the light microscope.
Material preparation for light and electron microscopy. Characteristics of basic histological
techniques: paraffin, celloidin and cryostat sections, embedding in epoxy resins for electron
microscopy. Routine stainig for light microscopy, contrast staining of ultrathin sections. Basic
principles of classic histochemistry, enzyme histochemistry, immunocytochemistry,
autoradiography and in situ hybridization. Tagging with fluorescent proteins and real-time
The cell – Part 1. The biological membranes: membrane lipids and proteins, their properties and functional significance. Transport across the membranes. The cell membrane, glycocalyx. The cell
nucleus: spatial organization of the chromatin, eu- and heterochromatin. The nucleolus. The
nuclear stroma. The nuclear envelope and communication between the nucleus and the cytoplasm.
Structure and function of ribosomes. The endoplasmic reticulum (smooth and rough),
characteristics of the membranes, enzymes associated with ER, functions of ER. The Golgi
apparatus: polarity of the dictyosome, the role in protein glycosylation and sorting, membrane
remodelling and modification of the secretory material.
The cell – Part 2. Exo- and endocytosis, including receptor-mediated endocytosis. Lysosomes: types and their morphological characteristics, enzymatic content, involvement in intra- and
extracellular digestion processes. Mitochondria: morphological characteristics, properties of the
outer and inner mitochondrial membrane, distribution of the enzymatic complexes, components of
the mitochondrial matrix. The involvement of mitochondria in energy production. Peroxisomes:
morphology, enzymatic content, functional significance. The cytoskeleton (microtubules, actin
filaments, intermediate filaments). Structures involved in the motility of cells. Cell death: necrosis
October 27. MID-SEMESTER TEST 1 (Cell) – date to be confirmed
The epithelial tissue. Definition and components of a tissue. General characteristics and functions of epithelia. Classification of epithelia. Free surface of the epithelial cells and its structures:
microvilli and cilia, mechanism of ciliary movement. Intercellular junctions. Basal lamina. Glands:
morphological and functional classification.
The connective tissue proper. Chemical and structural characteristics of the extracellular
substance (fibres and matrix). Origin, structure and function of the connective tissue cells (fibre-
producing cells and cells involved in immune processes: plasma cells, mast cells and macrophage
family). Subtypes of the connective tissue proper, the structure of tendon. The adipose tissue.
Cartilage and bone. Cartilage: characteristics of the extracellular substance, chondral territories, nourishment of cartilage. Types of cartilage. Organic and inorganic components of the bone, the
bone lamella, organization of compact (Haversian) and cancellous bone. Cells involved in bone
formation and resorption. Mesenchymal and intrachondral ossification. Growth and remodelling of
the bone, fracture healing.
Blood and hemopoiesis. Blood plasma. Blood cells, their counts, characteristics and functional
adaptations. Erythrocyte and its cell membrane. The role of granulocytes in the defense
mechanisms. Lymphocytes, monocytes, blood platelets. The structure of hemopoietic bone marrow.
Hemopoiesis: stem cells, precursor cells, hemopoietic lineages (erythroblastic, myeloblastic,
megakaryocytic). Factors controlling the hemopoiesis.
The muscular tissue. The contractile apparatus. Classification of the muscular tissue. Characteristics of smooth and striated muscle cells/fibres. Structural and biochemical basis of
muscle contraction: sarcomere, its structure, contractile, regulatory and accessory proteins. The
role of T-tubules and sarcoplasmic reticulum in excitation-contraction coupling. The organization of
smooth muscle layer, skeletal muscle, and cardiac muscle including the conduction system. The
endocrine function of cardiomyocytes.
The nervous tissue. Definition of the neuron and its structural characteristics. Different types of neurons. Peripehral nerve fibre and nerve trunk. Structural and chemical basis of neural
conduction: resting and action potentials, the role of ion channels. Structure and types of synaptic
junctions, the synaptic transmission. Types and functions of neuroglial cells. The vertebral ganglion.
The central nervous system: composition of white and grey matter, microscopic organization of the
spinal cord, cerebral and cerebellar cortex.
December 8. MID-SEMESTER TEST 2 (Tissues) – date to be confirmed
The vascular system. Components of the vascular wall. Endothelium – structural characteristics
and functions. The structure and types of capillaries. Precapillaries and postcapillaries. Arterioles
and arteries (muscular and elastic). The venous system and its structural variability. Arteriovenous
The lymphatic system. Cells involved in the immune reactions: antigen presenting cells, T- and B-lymphocytes and their subpopulations, characteristics and cooperation. The lymphoid tissue and
its organization. The lymphoid nodule. Structure and function of the lymph node. The spleen -
organization of white and red pulp, the splenic circulation. The epitheliolymphoid system of the
thymus, its role as the central lymphatic organ. The tonsils.
The integument. Epidermis: keratinocytes and the keratinization process, melanocytes, Langerhans and Merkel cells. The dermis. Vascularization and innervation of the skin. Regional
differences in the structure of the skin. Skin glands: sweat glands, sebaceous glands, apocrine
glands. The hair and its appendages.
The alimentary system - Part 1. The mucosa of the oral cavity. Lingual papillae and taste buds.
Small and large salivary glands: the secretory portions of serous, mucous and mixed types,
excretory ducts. Tooth: structure of the mineralized parts, dental pulp, periodontal membrane,
Labs: Fridays; 13.30 - 15.00 Groups: 4, 5, 6
15.30 - 17.00 Groups: 1, 2, 3
The alimentary system - Part 2. General organization of the alimentary canal. The structure of the wall of esophagus and stomach, characteristics of the associated glands and their cellular
composition. The surface epithelium of stomach and intestine and its renewal cycle. The intestine
and its adaptations to function (intestinal villi and crypts), segmental differences in the structure.
The gut-associated lymphoid tissue. Innervation of the alimenraty canal. The enteroendocrine cells.
Large glands of the alimentary system. General organization of the liver, types of hepatic lobules. The hepatic circulation, the sinusoids and associated cells. Ultrastructural characteristics
of the hepatocyte and its polarity.The pancreas - organization of the exocrine part, characteristics
of the secretory pancreatic cell, acini and ducts.
March 2. MID-SEMESTER TEST 3 (The alimentary system) – date to be confirmed
The endocrine system - Part 1. The pituitary gland - its parts: adeno- and neurohypophysis. Morphological and functional classification of the cells in the adenohypophysis. The nervous part
(pars nervosa). The functional interrelations between hypothalamus and the pituitary, the role of
the vascular system. General organization of the thyroid gland. The thyroid follicle: its cells and
stages of thyroid hormone production. The C-cells. Adrenal cortex, its layers and their interrelations.
The ultrastructural features of steroidogenic cells. Adrenal medulla. Blood circulation in adrenals.
The endocrine system - Part 2. The pancreatic islets: ultrastructural and functional characteristics of their cells. The parathyroid glands - cell types and function. The pineal gland. The system of
disseminated neuroendocrine cells (DNES, APUD).
Molecular mechanisms of chemical signaling. Types of chemical signals and principles of
chemical signaling. Receptor types. Membrane receptors. Signal transduction involving G-proteins,
second messengers and their action. Enzyme-linked membrane receptors. Intracellular receptors
and the mechanisms of cell response.
The female reproductive system. The ovary - ovarian follicles and their successive developmental stages. The structure of the Graafian follicle. Formation and structure of the corpus
luteum. Follicular atresia. Endocrine cells of the ovary. The oviduct. The structure of uterine wall,
changes of the mucosa in the course of the menstrual cycle. The uterine cervix and vagina.
Accessory organs of the female reproductive system. The mammary gland - general structure,
its changes related to development and functional status. The placenta: general structure, the
placental villus, characteristics of the placental barrier. The syncytiotrophoblast and its function.
The histological structure of the fetal membranes (amnion, chorion, deciduas). Exfoliative cytology
of vaginal smears.
The male reproductive system. The testis - general structure. The seminiferous tubule: stromal
cells and the seminiferous epithelium, spermato- and spermiogenesis. Ultrastructure of the mature
spermatozoon. Sertoli cells and their functions. The endocrine function of the testis: Leydig cells.
The epididymis and vas deferens. The glands associated with the system: prostate, seminal
vesicles and bulbourethral glands.
The respiratory system. The airways - characteristics of the mucosa. The airway epithelium and
its cell types. Nasal mucosa: the respiratory and the olfactory regions. Olfactory epithelium: cell
types and functions. The structure of trachea, bronchi and bronchioles. The pulmonary alveoli:
types and functions of pneumocytes, air-blood barrier, the surfactant and its role. Pulmonary
macrophages and interstitial cells.
The urinary system. The kidney: cortex and medulla. Nephron and the localization of its segments in the renal parenchyma. The renal corpuscle and filtration barrier. Ultrastructural and
functional characteristics of the successive segments of the nephron. The iuxtaglomerular
apparatus. The collecting tubule. Renal blood vessels. The urether and urinary bladder.
Lecture: The ear. External ear: auricle and external auditory meatus, tympanic membrane. Middle ear: tympanic cavity, auditory ossicles, auditory tube, cavities of the mastoid process. Inner ear:
bony and membraneous labyrinth. Saccule and utricle, semicircular ducts, endolymphatic duct and
sac, cochlear duct. Sensory structures: maculae, cristae and the organ of Corti. Morphological and
molecular basis of hearing. Lab: Demonstration of the lab (practical) exam procedure.
The eye. General organization of the eyebulb and its layers. The sclera and cornea. The uvea and
structures responsible for accommodation and adaptation. Production and circulation of the
aqueous humor. The lens. The retina: characteristics of the cones and rods, molecular basis of
photoreception, the spatial organization of neurons. The eyelid, the conjunctiva and the lacrimal
Lecture: Stem cells
Lab: Practical histology review. Practical clues how to identify histological slides and electron
micrographs. Light and electron microscopic characteristics of the tissues, blood vessels, lymphatic
organs, skin and respiratory system.
Practical histology review. Light and electron microscopic characteristics of the alimentary,
reproductive and urinary systems as well as endocrine and sensory organs.
Practical histology review. Differential identification of similar structures from all organs and
(“Last chance test” for all those who failed mid-semester tests, see course information and
June 14-15: FINAL EXAM (the date may be changed)