Plate 4 Loose And Dense Connective Tissue

Connective Tissue Mammary Gland

Figure 1, mammary gland, human, H&E x160

This micrograph shows, at low magnification, loose connective tissue (LCT) immediately surrounding the gland epithelium (Ep). It is relatively less strained with eosin, compared with the dense connective tissue (DCT) that occupies much of the field. The dense connective tissue, with its numerous thick fibers, is in contrast to the loose connective tissue that has a relative paucity of fibers. The typical wispy nature of the collagen fibers found in loose connective tissue is seen more clearly in Figure 2, which shows one of the lobules at higher magnification.

Figure 1, mammary gland, human, H&E x160

This micrograph shows, at low magnification, loose connective tissue (LCT) immediately surrounding the gland epithelium (Ep). It is relatively less strained with eosin, compared with the dense connective tissue (DCT) that occupies much of the field. The dense connective tissue, with

Figure 4, vagina, human, H&E x480.

Here the wispy nature of the fine collagen fibers is evident, and the variation of nuclear profiles is even more apparent. Identification of the cell type represented by each nucleus is not possible; however, certain cells of the total population can be identified with assurance. Thus, the small, dense, round nuclei without visible surrounding cytoplasm belong to lymphocytes (L). Some of the round nuclei exhibit a surrounding but eccentric mass of cytoplasm. These are plasma cells (PC). The cytoplasm of some cells is obscured partially by the nucleus, making identity less certain (?). The size, density, chro matin pattern, and typically elongated nucleus make those cells more readily identifiable as fibroblasts. Two fibroblast nuclei (F) are indicated in the micrograph; both are elongate, but one appears quite narrow. It is being viewed on edge, whereas the broader nucleus profile represents an en face view of a fibroblast. This nucleus also shows prominent nucleoli, typical of active fibroblasts. Usually, the thin cytoplasmic processes of the fibroblasts are obscured by blending in with the collagen. Some of the nuclei seen here may represent macrophages or mast cells, but these cells cannot be definitively identified.

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