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Eye & Ear

Wall of eye, receptor organ of visual system, has 3 layers (tunics):

Corneoscleral coat: tough outer fibrous layer that includes the sclera (the white, opaque
layer that covers the posterior 5/6 of the eye) & the cornea (the clear layer that covers the
anterior 1/6 of the eye)
Uvea: intermediate vascular layer; in the posterior 5/6 of the eye, it is called the choroid, &
is located between the sclera & the retina. Anteriorly, the choroid joins the ciliary body &
the iris, a diaphragm that extends over the lens
Retina: the innermost layer, composed of nervous tissue; it function in photoreception
White opaque appearance of the sclera is due to the irregular dense arrangement of the
collagen fibers. There are blood vessels, lymphatics & nerve fibers within the collagen layer.
Sometimes at the base of the sclera you can see pigmented melanocytes

Cornea is clear, avascular & transparent. Consists of 5 layers:

Corneal epithelium: non-keratinized stratified squamous epithelium
Bowmans membrane: a thin basal lamina
Corneal stroma: alternating lamellae of collagen fibrils & fibroblasts. These fibrils are
arranged in an orthogonal array (at right angles to each other)
Descemets membrane: thick basement membrane of the endothelium
Corneal endothelium: composed of a single layer of squamous cells that regulate metabolic
exchange between cornea & aqueous humor

Uvea: divided into 3 regions from posterior to anterior:

Choroid: heavily pigmented & consists of 2 layers, choriocapillary layer & lamina vitrea
(Bruchs membrane), a thin, glossy elastic membrane that separates the choroid from the
Ciliary body: composed of smooth muscle bundles responsible for alterations in the shape
of the lens; ciliary processes project into the posterior chamber. Ciliary body & processes
are lined with an outer pigmented layer continuous with retinal pigmented epithelium of
the retina, & an inner non-pigmented layer that secretes zonular fibers & aqueous humor.
Iris: continuous with ciliary body. Posterior portion of the iris (closest to lens) has a
pigmented epithelium, while the anterior surface is irregular & is covered by a
discontinuous layer of melanocytes & fibroblasts
Sphincter papillae muscle: circular band of smooth muscle innervated by
parasympathetic nerves responsible for reducing pupil diameter
Dilator papillae muscle: thin sheet of radially oriented pigmented myoepithelial cells;
this is innervated by sympathetic nerves & is responsible for dilating the pupil

Lens: biconvex, crystalline structure, is surrounded by an elastic capsule of collagenous fibers

attached to zonular fibers, which extend from ciliary body to the lens equator
Germinal zone: where subcapsular epithelial cells elongate & form lens fibers & located at the
equator. As the fibers mature, they lose their nuclei & become filled with proteins called

Retina: light-sensitive, innermost layer of the eye.

Divided 10 histological layers:
Retinal pigment epithelium: outermost layer
adjacent to the choroid. Basement membrane
forms part of Bruchs membrane, which
separates the retina from the choroid
Layer of rods & cones: rods have long, thin
bodies, & cones have a broad base
External limiting membrane: apical boundary
of Muller cells [sustenacular (glial) support
Outer nuclear layer: composed of the nuclei of
the rods & cones
Outer plexiform layer: where synapse occurs
between neurons & rods & cones
Inner nuclear layer: cell body layer of neurons
& Muller cells.. Muller cells extend from the
internal limiting membrane to the external
limiting membrane
Inner plexiform layer: where synapse occurs
between neurons & ganglion cells
Ganglion cell layer: ganglion cell bodies
Layer of optic nerve fibers: contains the axon
of the ganglion cell bodies. These axons run in
a flattened layer toward the optic disc
Internal limiting membrane: basal lamina of
Muller cells & separates retina from the
vitreous body

Primary function of the eyelid is to protect the eye.

Lining eyelid & sclera is transparent mucous membrane conjunctiva; this stratified columnar
epithelium contains numerous goblet cells & rests on loose connective tissue
Within the eyelid is the tarsal plate, a layer of thick fibrous & elastic connective tissue that gives
flexible support & is attached to the tarsal muscle, a small amount of smooth muscle found at
the superior aspect of the tarsal plate
Thin oval sheet of skletal (orbicularis oculi muscle) lies over the tarsal plate
Eyelid contains 5 types of glands:
Eccrine sweat glands: secrete their product onto the surface of the skin
Tarsal glands (Meibomian glands): sebaceous glands in the tarsal plate, which secrete an
oily residue to prevent evaporation of tears
Glands of Zeis: sebaceous glands of the eyelashes
Glands of Moll: apocrine glands of the eyelashes
Accessory Lacrimal Glands: compound serous tubuloalveolar glands located over the inner
surface of the eyelid (glands of Wolfring) & in the arch of the lacrimal sac (glands of
Lacrimal glands: located under the conjunctiva of the upper lateral side of the eye, about where
the outer edge of the eyebrow is

Eye Images from Ross

Eye Images from Gartner

Eyelid Images from Ross

Eyelid Images from Gartner

Ear: sense organ of hearing & assists in maintaining equilibrium

Divided into 3 anatomical section: external ear, middle ear, & inner ear
External ear: collects & amplifies sound
auricle: (pinna) consists of elastic cartilage covered on both sides by thin skin with hair
follicles & sebaceous glands

Middle ear consists of tympanic membrane (eardrum), ossicles (ear bones), & the auditory tube
(Eustachian tube).
Tympanic membrane is the boundary between the middle & the external ear; the external
surface of this membrane is lined with skin & inner layer is simple cuboidal epithelium
Cavity of middle ear is crossed by a chain of 3 small bones, the hammer (malleus), anvil (incus)
& stirrup (stapes), which transmit the vibrations occurring at the tympanic membrane to the
vestibule of the inner ear
Inner ear has 2 compartments: fluid filled membranous labyrinth lies within the bony labyrinth
composed of the vestibule, the semicircular canals, & the cochlea
Vestibule contains the utricle & saccule, which are lined by simple squamous epithelium with
specialized patches called macula.
Expanded ends (ampullae) of the 3 semicircular canals join the utricle, while the saccule is
connectd to the cochlear duct

Cochlea: spiral shaped bony tube that turns around the modiolus bone & contains the cochlear
duct, which is divided into 3 parallel, spiral ducts, one on top of the other
Scala vestibuli: begins at the oval window & contains perilymph
Scala tympani: ends at the round window & contains perilymph
Scala media (cochlear duct): lays between the scala vestibuli & scala tympani & is filled
with endolymph. Triangular shape in cross section

Cochlea Images from Ross

Cochlea Images from Gartner

EMs from Ross

EMs from Gartner