2010 Foundations Histology Expert Tutorial

From CellBiology


  • Wed 21 March 2010 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM SGR4 Mark Hill

About Expert Tutorials

  • Ask your SGS for specific topics or questions you would like to ask the Expert Tutor.
    • Prioritize the questions.
    • Submit them by email well before the expert tutorial, as they can them be reviewed by the expert to look for common problems in understanding.
  • Read what the class/lecture is designed to do and the key concepts.
    • Have all the issues been met by the content provided.
  • Make sure you have something to report back.

About This Expert Tutorial

  • Don't get too carried away with details remember these are supposed to be introductory.
  • You will cover many of these topics again in other settings during your course.

UNSW Virtual Slides


Science Practical - Introduction to Microscopy

Virtual Microscope - Cells and Tissues
  • Not much to cover from this practical as it was an introduction.
  • Generally we cannot microscopically see tissues unless they have been stained with coloured dyes and labels that bind specifically to cellular and extracellular components.
  • You do not need to know the all the histological stains used, though be aware that hematoxylin and eosin stain (H&E stain), are a quick and good contrast of tissue features.
    • basic dye hematoxylin - colours basophilic structures blue-purple (DNA, RNA)
    • acidic eosin - colours eosinophilic structures pink-red (protein)
  • Some other stains, for reference only Histology Stains
  • Virtual Microscope - Introduction to Microscopy

Science Practical - Introduction to histology - Cells and Tissue

Virtual Microscope - Cells and Tissues

Histology terminology

This laboratory class is designed to:

  1. Obtain an understanding of the histological appearance of the basic tissues namely epithelium, connective tissue, muscle and nervous tissue.
  2. To examine unique cellular characteristics of each of the basic tissues.
  3. To correlate the functions of the basic tissues with their morphology.

Key concepts addressed:

  1. A histological examination of selected examples of each of the basic tissues will be addressed.
  2. Identify the various types of tissue characteristics and relate these to their function.
  3. Examine cellular morphology for each of the basic tissues.

Reference: Junqueira and Carneiro (2005). Basic Histology, 11th Edition, General reading of Chapters 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 to obtain an overview of the basic tissues and the variety of cell types involved. NB: This is available online. However students are expected to purchase the latest edition as one of the required textbooks. Access via Lange Educational Library from Sirius. http://sirius.library.unsw.edu.au

Tutorial Points

  • Basic background to the types of tissues and their organization in the body. Look at examples of these within the lab.
  • Broadly Epithelia or Connective tissue cellular organization
    • most tissues and organs contain both types (for example, skin has an epithelium epidermis and a connective tissue dermis and hypodermis) Integumentary




  • classified by: number of cell layers (simple, pseudostratified, stratified), cell shape (columnar, cuboidal, squamous) and any specializations.
  • Have a specialized extracellular matrix (ECM) on which basal cells sit, the basal lamina, and generally little or none ECM between the cells.


  • as surfaces or protective boundaries between environments and tissues, secretion or absorption.
Thick Skin
Thin Skin

Connective Tissue


  • consists of cells separated by varying amounts of extracellular matrix (ECM).
  • classified by ECM components (eg reticular fibres), organization (eg loose connective tissue and dense connective tissues) and cell types (eg adipose)
  • blood is a liquid connective tissue


  • many different functions, support, strength, tissue integrity, connectivity, etc.