The tissues of multicellular animals are organized on the basis of the type of cells which form the tissues, thus the cells composing the tissues are specialized (Campbell et al., 2000; Raven and Johnson, 1999). Each tissue has a common structure and function and is characteristically held together by intracellular materials. It represents specialization of the properties that all protoplasms possess such as contractility, excretion and irritability. An animal has four categories of tissues namely: epithelium, connective, muscular and nervous. The epithelium forms a protective covering; the connective serves as binding and supportive tissue; muscular contracts for movement; and the nervous tissue is for conduction of impulse and reception of stimuli (Hickman et al., 1996). Tissues interact with their environment, and the constant changing of their environment demands a considerable degree of adaptability (Burkitt et al., 1996; Sandritter and Thomas, 1979). Hence, their failure to adapt to changes may result to histopathologic condition which refers to the abnormalities or diseases associated with tissues. Characterization of animal tissues through microscopic observations of will be performed in this laboratory activity.


At the end of the activity, the students should be able to: 1. identify the major types of tissues and their subgroups; 2. compare the morphology of the different tissues, and 3. categorize each of the tissues based on their general functions and locations in the body.

Laboratory supplies and Materials
compound microscope xylene and cotton prepared slides of tissues: lung stomach kidney trachea skin urinary bladder esophagus spinal cord cerebrum adipose tendon lymph node fibrocartilage elastic cartilage hyaline cartilage decalcified bone striated cardiac smooth blood

1. Familiarize with the classification of animal tissues.

Figure 7.1 Classification of animal tissues

2. Characterize the epithelial tissues according classification.

to their structural properties and

Epithelial tissues are formed by closely aggregated cells resembling sheet or membrane. They cover or line surfaces or masses of cells in glands. One of their surfaces is attached to a basement membrane, while the other is free. They have plenty nerve fibers and are considered avascular because they do not have blood supply. Their nutrition is through osmosis or diffusion from underlying vascular connective tissues. They are classified according to cell shape and number of cell layers. Table 7.1a. Classification and descriptions of epithelial tissues
Basis Cell shape Squamous The cells are thin, broad and with flat appearance. Cuboidal The cells are roughly thick than wide, and cube-like. Columnar The cells are tall than wide; and in vertical section, resembles rectangular-shape. Some are modified with cilia, the hair-like projections at the distal ends. Layering of cells Simple It is one-cell thick. Stratified It is two or more-cell thick. Pseudo-stratified It is composed of columnar cells of one-cell thick, however, it looks like stratified because its cells extend in varied distances from the basement membrane, thus, it gives the false layered appearance. Transitional It is composed of rounded, or plump cells with the ability to to be stretched. Hence, the superficial cells are flattened when the organ is distended and rounded when empty.
Sources: Torres et al., 2004; Campbell et al., 2000; Hickman et al., 1996



Table 7.1b. Specific examples of epithelial tissues and their location
Specific Type Simple squamous Location lining walls of the blood vessels, bowman’s capsule of the kidneys, alveoli of the lungs, cavities of the heart thyroid follicles, pigmented retina of the eyes, ducts of glands mucosa of the stomach, small and large intestines skin, esophagus, vagina trachea fallopian tube, oviduct urinary bladder, urether, urethra Transitional
Sources: Torres et al., 2004; Campbell et al., 2000; Hickman et al., 1996

Simple cuboidal Simple columnar Stratified squamous Pseudostratified ciliated columnar Pseudostratified non-ciliated columnar

2.1 Examine the provided prepared slides using the OIO and locate the labeled parts on the diagrams.

Simple squamous epithelium


Stratified squamous epithelium

Simple columnar epithelium

Pseudostratified ciliated columnar epithelium

Simple cuboidal epithelium

Transitional epithelium

Figure 7.2 Photomicrographs of epithelial tissues, 1000 X 2.2 Answer item in the worksheet. 3. Characterize the connective tissue according to their structural composition and classification. Connective tissues are widely separated by huge amount of intercellular or fiber-filled ground substance. The gel-like matrix of the ground substance entrench different kinds of cells and protein fibers. They provide structural and metabolic support for other tissues or organs of the body. Hence, they function with a variety support mechanisms such as packing, storage,

transport, defense and repair. They are classified either as loose connective tissue or dense connective tissue based on the composition and arrangement of fibers. Some specialized connective tissues are also classified according to their structural composition, as well as their functions. These tissues are outlined in Table 7.2. Table 7.2. Types and descriptions of connective tissues
Type Arrangement of fibers Loose CT Description Location

These are tissues with fibers arranged in a meshwork, and are composed of three main fibers classified as collagen, elastic and reticular. There are two main loose connective tissues: Loose areolar tissue has a variety of proteinaceous fibers, including collagen and elastin. Reticular tissue is a type of loose irregular CT and has a network of reticular fibers. It resembles areolar CT, but the only fibers in its matrix are reticular fibers, which form a delicate network along with fibroblasts. lymph nodes, liver and bone marrow spleen; lymphatic system

Dense CT

These are composed primarily of collagenous fibers which are arranged parallel to each other. They are resistant to stretching and are further grouped into. Dense regular are composed of collagen fibers which appear silvery white. They are arranged in an orderly parallel manner conferring their great strength and toughness yet somewhat pliable. Dense Irregular contain collagen fibers that are irregularly interwoven. They are found in parts of the body where tensions are exerted in various directions. tendons, ligaments.

dermis of the skin, joint capsules, heart valves and, membrane (fibrous) capsules around the kidney, liver, testes and lymph nodes

Structural composition Cartilage

This is a semi rigid form of connective tissue with closely packed fibers embedded in a gel-like ground substance or matrix. Cells within small pockets, called lacunae, are also present. Hyaline is an avascular cartilagenous tissue with a translucent ground substance which is made predominantly of collagen and is avascular. 65 bones, joints; embryonic skeleton

Elastic is similar to hyaline but contains elastic bundles (elastin) scattered throughout the matrix.

pinna of the ear, walls of the auditory (Eustachian) tubes, larynx and epiglottis between intervertebral discs, pubic and other symphyses, connecting tendons or ligaments to bones. skeleton of higher vertebrates vascular system; lymphatics

Fibrocartilage is a specialized typeof cartilage found in the areas requiring tough support or great tensile strength.


This is a rigid form of connective tissue consists of cells fibers and ground substance or matrix which is calcified. This is a fluid tissue consisting of free cells and fliud intercellular plasma. The cells are further classified as red blood cells (erythrocytes) and while blood cells (leukocytes) This tissue comprises the bulk of body fat. It has a high percentage of fat cells which form groups of masses or fat lobules separated by partitions of fibrous septa.



subcutaneous tissue

Sources: Torres et al., 2004; Campbell et al., 2000; Hickman et al., 1996

3.1 Examine the provided prepared slides using the OIO and observe the types of fibers present and their arrangement, and the cells that are found in the matrix of the tissue.

Loose areolar tissue


Reticular tissue

Adipose tissue

Dense regular tissue


Dense irregular tissue

Hyaline cartilage tissue

Fibrocartilage tissue


Elastic cartilage tissue

Osseus tissue

Vascular tissue

Figure 7.3 Photomicrographs of connective tissues, 1000X

4.. Characterize muscular tissue according to their structural composition and function. Muscular tissue has highly developed the property of contractility, hence, it produces force and cause motion, either locomotion or movement within internal organs. Much of muscle contraction occurs without conscious thought (involuntary contraction) and is necessary for survival, while voluntary muscle contraction is used to move the body, and can be finely controlled. Outined below are the types of muscular tissue: Table 7.3. Muscle tissues and their corresponding descriptions
Type Skeletal Description It is a straited, voluntary muscle which is responsible to react to conscious control. The muscle fibers are much longer and larger in diameter than the smooth muscle fibers. Each muscle fiber shows distinct cross-striation, and is multinucleated, with the nuclei situated below the sarcolemma. It is a non-straited, involuntary muscle is not under conscious control. Each muscle fiber is a spindle-shaped cell with an elongated or ovoid centrally-located nucleus. Location attached to the skeleton


walls of organs and structures such as the esophagus, stomach,intestines, bronchi, uterus, urethra, bladder and blood vessels heart


It is a straited, involuntary muscle. It has slender ovoid or elongated nuclei seen at the periphery of the fibers.

Sources: Torres et al., 2004; Campbell et al., 2000; Hickman et al., 1996; di Fiore, 1989

4.1 Examine the prepared slides of the muscle tissues using the OIO and note their distinguishing characteristics.


Skeletal muscle tissue

Smooth muscle tissue

Cardiac muscle tissue

Figure 7.4 Photomicrographs of muscle tissues, 1000X


Characterize the nervous tissues according to their structural properties and cell types. Nervous tissue is specialized for the reception of stimuli and for the conduction of impulses from one region to another. There are two major cell populations in the nervous tissues, the neurons and neuroglia. The brain and the spinal cord are composed of tissues of the gray and white matter. In the central nervous system, the white matter is formed by the myelinated axons, while the unmyelinated dendrites and cell bodies form the gray matter. Table 7.4 Nervous tissue cells and their corresponding description and location

Type of neural cells Neurogila

Description They are variety of non-nervous cells. Its named “glia” means glue which describes its basic supportive function. The neurons (nerve cells or neurocytes) are consists of cell body (cyton) with long processes (dendrites) which extend up to the peripheral terminals.

Location Scattered throughout the brain and the spinal cord

Gray matter of the Central nervous system; white matter of the brain like the basal ganglia; the cerebrospinal and sympathetic ganglia of the peripheral nerves Sources: Raven and Johnson, 1999; Tortora and Grabowski, 1996; di Fiore, 1989 Neurons

5.2 Examine the structure of brain tissue and cells in the prepared slide using the LPO and OIO.

Neuron and Neuroglia, 1000X


Gray and White matter, 100x Figure 7.5 Photomicrograph of nervous tissues


Answer all items in the worksheet.


Name Group No.


1. Summarize the specific functions of the different epithelial tissues.

Type Simple squamous

Specific function

Stratified squamous


Simple columnar

Pseudostratified columnar



2. Summarize the specific functions of the different

connective tissues.

Type Loose areolar tissue

Specific function

Reticular tissue

Adipose tissue Dense regular connective tissue

Dense irregular connective tissue Hyaline cartilage Tissue Fibrocartilage tissue Elastic cartilage

Osseous tissue

Vascular tissue


3. Give the specific functions of muscular tissues.

Type Cardiac

Specific function



4. Give the specific functions of the cells of the nervous tissues.

Types of Cell

Specific function





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Making Connection
In most tissues, fibrous scar forms a functionally adequate, unspecialized, replacement for damaged tissues provided sufficient normal tissue remains. With time, the red appearance of recent scar is gone and cellularity of the scar diminishes and contracts which become virtually undetectable macroscopically. How does epithelial regeneration account to this tissue repair?