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Biology

Biology

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01/06/2012

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Tissue is a cellular organizational level intermediate between cells and a complete organism.

Hence, a tissue is an ensemble of cells, not necessarily identical, but from the same origin, that together carry out a specific function. Organs are then formed by the functional grouping together of multiple tissues. The study of tissue is known as histology or, in connection with disease, histopathology e classical tools for studying tissues are the paraffin block in which tissue is embedded and then sectioned, the histological stain, and the optical microscope. In the last couple of decades, developments in electron microscopy, immunofluorescence, and the use of frozen tissue sections have enhanced the detail that can be observed in tissues. With these tools, the classical appearances of tissues can be examined in health and disease, enabling considerable refinement of clinical diagnosis and prognosis.

Connective tissues function primarily to support the body and to bind or connect together all types of tissue. This tissue also provide a mechanical framework (the skeleton) which plays an important role in locomotion. Unlike epithelial tissue, connective tissue is characterised by the large amounts of intercellular substance (also called ground substance or the matrix) that it contains. Connective tissue are relatively few cells which are widely seperated from each other. These living cells are responsible for secreting the large amounts of intercellular ground substance (matrix). The matrix is a non-living material which may be liquid (eg. blood), semi-solid (eg. connective tissue) or solid (eg. bone). Embedded in the matrix are a variety of connecting and supporting fibres, eg. collagen fibres and elastic fibres. Classification of the basic connective tissue depends on the predominant fibre type present in each. Connective tissue can be divided into four main types

Cartilage is a specialized connective tissue that provides for both strength and flexibility. It is mainly found in the form of hyaline cartilage (hyalos means "glass" in Greek), which is so named because of its smooth, glassy bluish-white appearance when fresh. Cartilage forms the precursor for the vertebrate skeleton in the embryo, which is replaced by bone in the neonate. The exception to this is the articular surfaces of bones (articular surfaces are where two bones move against one another) involved in joints and the ventral ends of the ribs. Hyaline cartilage is also what makes up the cartilage in the nose, bronchi, larynx and trachea. The cells of cartilage are called chondrocytes and are found in spaces (called lacunae) surrounded the extracellular cartilage matrix. Chondrocytes differentiate from the fibroblasts (within the connective tissues) that surround cartilaginous area.

Adipose tissue is composed of large cells which contain a single large droplet of adipose (fat), surrounded by a thin ring containing the cellular cytoplasm and nucleus. Since the adipose has been remove with the processing of this slice, only a space remains. This gives the cells a "signet ring" appearance, with the ring of cytoplasm making up the band and the nucleus being the "jewellery" on the ring (try that on for size!). Surrounding the adipse cells is a fine network of collagen fibres, which give the cells support.

. T h e l a c u n a e a r e t h e s p a c e s i n t h e b o n e

w h e r e t h e o s t e o c y t e s a r e

l o c a t e d . T h e

These two sections are dry ground sections of mammalian compact bone. The image at the right shows a higher power image of one of the Haversian systems seen on the section on the left. The Haversian system is the basis for the structural organization of mammalian compact bones and is composed of concentric lamellae, the Haversian canal, lacunae and canaliculi. The lamellae form the bone matrix surrounding the Haversian canal which carries blood vessels and nerves to and from the bone. The lacunae are the spaces in the bone where the osteocytes are located. These lacunae are interconnected with each other and the Haversian canal (so they get adequate nutrients, as these do not diffuse well through bone) by a system of small tubes in the bone called canaliculi ("canals", as the name implies). On this slide, all the living tissue has been removed in the preparation, so the lacunae, canaliculi and Haversian canals all appear only as black spaces within the inorganic matrix (lamellae) of the bone.

Blood is a connective tissue consisting of cells suspended in an intercellular fluid (the blood plasma). Blood functions to transport oxygen, carbon dioxide, nutrients, wastes, hormones, etc. to and from the body's cells. Blood cells consist of erythrocytes (red blood cells), leukocytes (white blood cells) and thrombocytes (platelets). The above picture is a smear of human peripheral blood. The numerous small reddish cells seen here are erythrocytes (each about 7 µm across, they are by far the most numerous type of blood cell). Note that inmammals, they do not have a nucleus when mature, which was lost during maturation in the bone marrow. Erythrocytes have a reddish colour (and, thus so does your blood) due to their high content of the iron - protein complex called hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the molecule that allows erythrocytes to bind oxygen. The other cells seen here are leukocytes, which are part of the immune system. Platelets (not seen here) are small cytoplasmic fragments of a larger cell, known as a megakaryocyte, and are important for clotting of the blood.

All living cells have the ability to react to stimuli. Nervous tissue is specialised to react to stimuli and to conduct impulses to various organs in the body which bring about a response to the stimulus. Nerve tissue(as in the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves that branch throughout the body) are all made up of specialised nerve cells called neurons. Neurons are easily stimulated and transmit impulses very rapidly. A nerve is made up of many nerve cell fibres (neurons) bound together by connective tissue. A sheath of dense connective tissue, the epineurium surrounds the nerve. This sheath penetrates the nerve to form the perineuriumwhich surrounds bundles of nerve fibres. blood vessels of various sizes can be seen in the epineurium. The endoneurium, which consists of a thin layer of loose connective tissue. Although the system forms a unit it can be divided into the following parts: the central nervous system (CNS) which consists of the brain and spinal cord, the nervous system consists of the nerves outside the CNS which connect the brain and spinal cord to the organs and muscles of the body and the automatic or involuntary nervous system consists of nerve centres and fibres inside as well as outside the central nervous system

A motor neuron has many processes (cytoplasmic extensions), called dendrites, which enter a large, grey cell body at one end. A single process, the axon, leaves at the other end, extending towards the dendrites of the next neuron or to form a motor endplate in a muscle. Dendrites are usually short and divided while the axons are very long and does not branched freely. The impulses are transmitted through the motor neuron in one direction, i.e. into the cell body by the dendrites and away from the cell body by the axon . The cell body is enclosed by a cell (plasma) membrane and has a central nucleus. Granules, called Nissl, bodies are found in the cytoplasm of the cell body. Within the cell body, extremely fine neurofibrils extend from the dendrites into the axon.

Muscle is a very specialized tissue that has both the ability to contract and the ability to conduct electrical impulses. Muscles are are classified both functionally as either voluntary or involuntary and structurally as either striated or smooth. From this, there emerges three types of muscles: smooth involuntary (smooth) muscle, striated voluntary (skeletal) muscle and striated involuntary (cardiac) muscle. The names in the brackets are the common names given to the particular classification of muscle.

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The slide shown on the left is a section of the small intestine showing smooth muscle in the lower right and dense irregular connective tissue in the upper left. Note how the smooth muscle forms neat, parallel lines, whereas the dense irregular connective tissue is more wavy and less organized. The slide on the right is a close up the smooth muscle seen on the left. Smooth muscle features long, narrow "spindle" shaped cells with a single central, somewhat elongated, nucleus. These cells are arranged parallel to one another in situ and do not show any striations microscopically. This type of muscle is called "involuntary" because it acts to contract and relax without conscious thought (i.e. you can't will your intestines to contract, they just do - this is what causes that embarrassing grumbling half way through lecture when you're hungry!). Functionally, smooth muscle cells contract as a single unit, with the impulse to contract being passed to small groups of cells by a single innervating nerve, coordinating with other nerves. Smooth muscle is found in the walls of the digestive tract, uterus, bladder, blood vessels and other internal organs.

This slide on the left shows skeletal muscle prepared in such a way that the individual fibres (1) have been teased apart and isolated. The fibres of skeletal muscle should not be confused with the fibres of connective tissue. Connective tissue fibres are extracellular elements, whereas skeletal muscle fibres describe the individual skeletal muscle cells. Each cell is called a fibre because it is thin and very long, making it look like a thread, or fibre of clothing, when isolated. Note that a single fibre (cell) can span the entire length of the muscle. Microscopically, each cell is cylindrical, unbranched and contains many nuclei (2 - this is also called multinucleate). The nuclei are arranged around the periphery of the cell just beneath the cell membrane. The characteristic striations seen are a result of the orderly arrangement of actin and myosin filaments within the muscle cell (seen well on the slide on the right). In the body, skeletal muscle cells are arranged into bundles (called fascicles) surrounded by thin layers of connective. These fascicles are again arranged into larger bundles, which form the particular muscular organ (i.e. the biceps). The connective tissue surrounding these fascicles extends as dense regular connective tissue to anchor the muscle to the bone in the form of a tendon.

Cardiac muscle is unique in that it shows some features of skeletal muscle and some features of smooth muscle. As the name implies, cardiac muscle is the muscle that makes up the wall of the heart. Cardiac muscle is similar to skeletal muscle in that it is striated and multinucleate, and similar to smooth muscle in that the nuclei are centrally located and many cells are required to span the length of the muscle. It differs from both skeletal muscle and smooth muscle in that its cells branch and are joined to one another via intercalated discs. Intercalated discs allow communication between the cells such that there is a sequential contraction of the cells from the bottom of the ventricle to the top, facilitating maximal ejection of blood from the ventricle during contraction. This occurs with out nervous innervations to each cell or group of cells. Cardiac muscle also differs from the other two muscle types in that contraction can occur even without an initial nervous input. The cells that produce the stimulation for contraction without nervous input are called the pacemaker cells.

Epithelial tissue covers the whole surface of the body. It is made up of cells closely packed and ranged in one or more layers. This tissue is specialized to form the covering or lining of all internal and external body surfaces. Epithelial tissue that occurs on surfaces on the interior of the body is known as endothelium. Epithelial cells are packed tightly together, with almost no intercellular spaces and only a small amount of intercellular substance. Epithelial tissue, regardless of the type, is usually separated from the underlying tissue by a thin sheet of connective tissue; basement membrane. The basement membrane provides structural support for the epithelium and also binds it to neighboring structures.

Epithelial cells from the skin protect underlying tissue from mechanical injury, harmful chemicals, invading bacteria and from excessive loss of water. Sensation Sensory stimuli penetrate specialised epithelial cells. Specialised epithelial tissue containing sensory nerve endings is found in the skin, eyes, ears, nose and on the tongue. Secretion In glands, epithelial tissue is specialised to secrete specific chemical substances such as enzymes, hormones and lubricating fluids. Absorption Certain epithelial cells lining the small intestine absorb nutrients from the digestion of food. Excretion Epithelial tissues in the kidney excrete waste products from the body and reabsorb needed materials from the urine. Sweat is also excreted from the body by epithelial cells in the sweat glands. Diffusion Simple epithelium promotes the diffusion of gases, liquids and nutrients. Because they form such a thin lining, they are ideal for the diffusion of gases (eg. walls of capillaries and lungs). Cleaning Ciliated epithelium assists in removing dust particles and foreign bodies which have entered the air passages. Reduces Friction The smooth, tightly-interlocking, epithelial cells that line the entire circulatory system reduce friction between the blood and the walls of the blood vessels.

Squamous cells have the appearance of thin, flat plates. They fit closely together in tissues; providing a smooth, lowfriction surface over which fluids can move easily. The shape of the nucleus usually corresponds to the cell form and helps to identify the type of epithelium. Squamous cells tend to have horizontally flattened, elliptical (oval or shaped like an egg) nuclei because of the thin flattened form of the cell. Classically, squamous epithelia are found lining surfaces utilizing simple passive diffusion such as the alveolar epithelium in the lungs. Specialized squamous epithelia also form the lining of cavities such as the blood vessels (endothelium) and pericardium (mesothelium) and the major cavities found within the body.

As their name implies, cuboidal cells are roughly cuboidal in shape, appearing square in cross section. Each cell has a spherical nucleus in the centre. Cuboidal epithelium is commonly found in secretive or absorptive tissue: for example the (secretive) exocrine gland the pancreas and the (absorptive) lining of the kidney tubules as well as in the ducts of the glands. They also constitute the germinal epithelium that covers the female ovary

Columnar epithelial cells are elongated and column-shaped. Their nuclei are elongated and are usually located near the base of the cells. Columnar epithelium forms the lining of the stomach and intestines. Some columnar cells are specialized for sensory reception such as in the nose, ears and the taste buds of the tongue. Goblet cells (unicellular glands) are found between the columnar epithelial cells of the duodenum. They secrete mucus, which acts as a lubricant.

These are simple columnar epithelial cells whose nuclei appear at different heights, giving the misleading (hence "pseudo") impression that the epithelium is stratified when the cells are viewed in cross section. Pseudo stratified epithelium can also possess fine hair-like extensions of their apical (luminal) membrane called cilia. In this case, the epithelium is described as "ciliated" pseudo stratified epithelium. Cilia are capable of energy dependent pulsatile beating in a certain direction through interaction of cytoskeletal microtubules and connecting structural proteins and enzymes. The wafting effect produced causes mucus secreted locally by the goblet cells (to lubricate and to trap pathogens and particles) to flow in that direction (typically out of the body). Ciliated epithelium is found in the airways (nose, bronchi), but is also found in the uterus and Fallopian tubes of females, where the cilia propel the ovum to the uterus.

The main function of meristematic tissue is mitosis. The cells are small, thin-walled, with no central vacuole and no specialized features. Meristematic tissue is located in the apical meristems at the growing points of roots and stems. the secondary meristems (lateral buds) at the nodes of stems (where branching occurs) , and in some plants, meristematic tissue, called the cambium, that is found within mature stems and roots. The cells produced in the meristems soon become differentiated into one or another of several types.

Protective tissue covers the surface of leaves and the living cells of roots and stems. Its cells are flattened with their top and bottom surfaces parallel. The upper and lower epidermis of the leaf are examples of protective tissue

Parenchyma is Greek word where "parn" means besides and "enchien" means to pour. Parenchyma is the most specialized primitive tissue. It mainly consist of thin-walled cells which have inter-cellular spaces between them. The cell wall is made up of cellulose. Each parenchymatous cell is iso-diametric, spherical, or oval in shape. It is widely distributed in various plant organs like root, stem, leaf, flowers and fruits. They mainly occur in the cortex epidermis, and pith, as well as in the mesophyll of leaves. The main function of parenchymatous tissue is assimilation and storage of reserve food materials like starch, fats and proteins. They also store waste products such as gums, resins, and inorganic waste materials.

The cells of this tissue are characterized by having chloroplasts (containing chlorophyll). It is found in the palisade and spongy tissues in the green leaves and the stem cortex of the herbs where photosynthesis occurs.

Collenchyma is Greek word where "Collin" means gum and "enchyma" means infusion. It is a living tissue of primary body like Parenchyma. Cells are thin-walled but possess thickening of cellulose and pectin substances at the corners where number of cells join together. This tissue gives a tensile strength to the plant and the cells are compactly arranged and do not have inter-cellular spaces. It occurs chiefly in hypodermis of stems and leaves. It is absent in monocots and in roots. Collenchymatous tissue acts as a supporting tissue in stems of young plants. It provides mechanical support, elasticity, and tensile strength to the plant body. It helps in manufacturing sugar and storing it as starch. It is present in margin of leaves and resist tearing effect of the wind.

Sclerenchyma is Greek word where "Sclrenes" means hard and "enchyma" means infusion. This tissue consists of thick-walled, dead cells. These cells have hard and extremely thick secondary walls due to uniform distribution of lignin. Lignin deposition is so thick that the cell walls become strong, rigid and impermeable to water. Sclerenchymatous cells are closely packed without intercellular spaces between them. Thus, they appear as hexagonal net in transverse section. The cells are cemented with the help of lamella. The middle lamella is a wall that lies between adjacent cells. Sclerenchymatous cells mainly occur in hypodermis, pericycle, secondary xylem and phloem. They also occur in endocorp of almond and coconut. It is made of pectin, lignin, protein. The cells of sclerenchymatous cells can be classified as : Fibres- Fibres are long, elongated sclerenchymatous cells with pointed ends. Sclerides- Sclerenchymatous cells which are short and possess extremely thick, lamellated, lignified walls with long singular piths. They are called sclerides. The main function of Sclerenchymatous tissues is to give support to the plant.

Xylem is a chief, conducting tissue of vascular plants. It is responsible for conduction of water and inorganic solutes. Xylem is an important plant tissue as it is part of the µplumbing¶ of a plant. Think of bundles of pipes running along the main axis of stems and roots. It carries water and dissolved substances throughout and consists of a combination of parenchyma cells, fibers, vessels, tracheids and ray cells. Long tubes made up of individual cells are the vessels, while vessel members are open at each end. Internally, there may be bars of wall material extending across the open space. These cells are joined end to end to form long tubes. Vessel members and tracheids are dead at maturity. Tracheids have thick secondary cell walls and are tapered at the ends. They do not have end openings such as the vessels. The tracheids ends overlap with each other, with pairs of pits present. The pit pairs allow water to pass from cell to cell. While most conduction in the xylem is up and down, there is some side-to-side or lateral conduction via rays. Rays are horizontal rows of long-living parenchyma cells that arise out of the vascular cambium. In trees, and other woody plants, ray will radiate out from the center of stems and roots and in cross-section will look like the spokes of a wheel.

Phloem is an equally important plant tissue as it also is part of the µplumbing¶ of a plant. Primarily, phloem carries dissolved food substances throughout the plant. This conduction system is composed of sieve-tube member and companion cells, that are without secondary walls. The parent cells of the vascular cambium produce both xylem and phloem. This usually also includes fibers, parenchyma and ray cells. Sieve tubes are formed from sieve-tube members laid end to end. The end walls, unlike vessel members in xylem, do not have openings. The end walls, however, are full of small pores where cytoplasm extends from cell to cell. These porous connections are called sieve plates. In spite of the fact that their cytoplasm is actively involved in the conduction of food materials, sieve-tube members do not have nuclei at maturity. It is the companion cells that are nestled between sieve-tube members that function in some manner bringing about the conduction of food. Sieve-tube members that are alive contain a polymer called callose. Callose stays in solution as long at the cell contents are under pressure. As a repair mechanism, if an insect injures a cell and the pressure drops, the callose will precipitate. However, the callose and a phloem protein will be moved through the nearest sieve plate where they will for a plug. This prevents further leakage of sieve tube contents and the injury is not necessarily fatal to overall plant turgor pressure.

In cell biology, a mitochondrion (plural mitochondria) is a membraneenclosed organelle found in most eukaryotic cells These organelles range from 0.5 to 10 micrometers ( m) in diameter. Mitochondria are sometimes described as "cellular power plants" because they generate most of the cell's supply of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), used as a source of chemical energy. In addition to supplying cellular energy, mitochondria are involved in a range of other processes, such as signaling, cellular differentiation, cell death, as well as the control of the cell cycle and cell growth. Mitochondria have been implicated in several human diseases, including mitochondrial disorders and cardiac dysfunction and may play a role in the aging process. The word mitochondrion comes from the Greek or mitos, thread + or chondrion, granule.

Ribosomes are the components of cells that make proteins from amino acids. One of the central tenets of biology, often referred to as the "central dogma," is that DNA is used to make RNA, which, in turn, is used to make protein. The DNA sequence in genes is copied into a messenger RNA (mRNA). Ribosomes then read the information in this RNA and use it to create proteins. This process is known as translation; i.e., the ribosome "translates" the genetic information from RNA into proteins. Ribosomes do this by binding to an mRNA and using it as a template for the correct sequence of amino acids in a particular protein. The amino acids are attached to transfer RNA (tRNA) molecules, which enter one part of the ribosome and bind to the messenger RNA sequence. The attached amino acids are then joined together by another part of the ribosome. The ribosome moves along the mRNA, "reading" its sequence and producing a chain of amino acids.

In cell biology, the nucleus (pl. nuclei; from Latin nucleus or nuculeus, meaning kernel), also sometimes referred to as the "control center", is a membraneenclosed organelle found in eukaryotic cells. It contains most of the cell's genetic material, organized as multiple long linear DNA molecules in complex with a large variety of proteins, such as histones, to form chromosomes. The geneswithin these chromosomes are the cell's nuclear genome. The function of the nucleus is to maintain the integrity of these genes and to control the activities of the cell by regulating gene expression ² the nucleus is therefore the control center of the cell. The main structures making up the nucleus are the nuclear envelope, a double membrane that encloses the entire organelle and separates its contents from the cellular cytoplasm, and the nuclear lamina, a meshwork within the nucleus that adds mechanical support, much like the cytoskeleton supports the cell as a whole. Because the nuclear membrane is impermeable to most molecules, nuclear pores are required to allow movement of molecules across the envelope. These pores cross both of the membranes, providing a channel that allows free movement of small molecules and ions. The movement of larger molecules such as proteins is carefully controlled, and requires active transport regulated by carrier proteins. Nuclear transport is crucial to cell function, as movement through the pores is required for both gene expression and chromosomal maintenance.

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