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Histology Laboratory

BMS 116
Laboratory # 2: Muscle, Bone and Cartilage

Laboratory Exercises
o Learn to identify and distinguish between skeletal, cardiac and smooth muscle
o Learn to recognize the major cell types associated with bone and cartilage
(including the cells that line these tissues),
o Learn to identify the principle structural and functional features of endochondral
bone formation.

SKELETAL MUSCLE SLIDE (Wheater’s p.101--111) (See Slide Online)

longitudinal section


1. What types of sections are visible on this slide?

Longitiudinal AND cross-sectional
2. Where are the nuclei located in relationship to individual muscle fibers?
They are located in the periphery
3. The striated appearance of skeletal appearance is due to what?
Sarcomere, which are repeating actin and myosin units
4. Examine the cross section of skeletal muscle.

a) What are the dark pink-stained circles called?

Muscle fiber

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b) These pink-stained circles are arranged into elongated bundles. What are these
bundles called?

Many muscle fibers bundled together make the muscle fascicles

Note: Muscle > fascicles > fibers > fibrils> actin and myosin

5. Identify epimysium, endomysium and perimysium by examining the skeletal

muscle tissue cross-section.

a) What is the difference between epimysium, endomysium and perimysium?

How can they be distinguished?

Epimysium: wraps around the muscle

Perimysium: wrap around muscle fascicle
Endomysium: wrap around muscle fiber




b) In which of these regions are blood vessels located?

Mostly between the perimysium containing muscle fascicles, but pierces all layers to
supply muscle with blood

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CARDIAC MUSCLE SLIDE (Wheater’s p.116--121) (See Slide Online)

1. Compared to skeletal muscle, how are nuclei in cardiac muscle cells distinguished?
Nuclei are mostly mono-nucleiated and rounder, also not in the periphery
2. Cardiac muscle is composed of muscle cells (cardiomyocytes) that are long and
cylindrical. What is the name of the structure that separates the ends of adjacent cardiac
muscle cells? (see pg 117 Wheater’s).

Intercalated discs

intercalated disc


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JEJUNUM SLIDE (Wheater’s p.112--115, p.266) (See Slide Online)

1. Smooth muscle fibers can be examined using your jejunum slide. Find the
smooth muscle fibers and compare their appearance with cardiac and skeletal
muscle examined previously.

Longitudinal layer (spindle-like) and circular layer, no striations, mononucleiated

outer longitudinal layer

inner circular layer

2. The muscular intestinal wall is called the muscularis propria. It is made up of an

outer longitudinal layer and inner circular layer.

a) Find these different layers of smooth muscle in the jejunum wall. How do
they differ in appearance?

See above

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TRACHEA SLIDE (See Slide Online)

hyaline cartilage loose CT

dense CT (perichondrium)

1. Using the naked eye, then the 4x microscope objective, locate the darkly stained
tracheal cartilage. Increase the magnification, focusing at the periphery of the
cartilage with the 10x lens, then 40x as needed. At the periphery of cartilage, note the
flattened, closely adherent layer of connective tissue; this specialized connective
tissue is called the perichondrium. This tissue serves as the source for what type of
cells? (Wheater’s p.187)

Chondroblasts are located in the perichondrium. These chrondroblasts are precursors that
can still move.

2. Beneath the perichondrium is developing and developed cartilage tissue. What is this
type of cartilage called (Wheater’s p. 186)?
Hyaline cartilage (dark purple)

3. At the surface of the cartilage nearest to the

perichondrium, you will see chondroblasts
(cartilage precursor cells). Towards the middle of
the cartilage, you will see chondrocytes (mature
cartilage cells). What morphological differences
distinguish these two types of cells? (Wheater’s p.

Chondroblasts (on the periphery) mature into chondrocytes (in the center of hyaline
cartilage). Chondroblasts have a larger nucleus and less cytoplasm; chondrocytes have
a larger cytoplasm to nucleus ratio.

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4. Within the tracheal cartilage, the chondrocytes are surrounded by an abundant darkly
stained hyaline cartilage.

a) What molecules comprise hyaline cartilage?

Type II collagen

b) Which cells are responsible for synthesizing and maintaining the hyaline
cartilage matrix?


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reserve zone: zone of proliferation

zone of hypertrophy

1. Using the 4x objective, find the

epiphyseal disc, also called the growth
plate. In this structure, how are the
chondrocytes arranged? (Wheater’s p.
186--187, 199--

Chondrocytes are more densely packed

near growth plate, then grow away from
the plate and become more loosely

chondroblast (immature) chondrocyte (mature)

2. At higher magnification, immediately
adjacent to the epiphysis is the reserve
zone. What does this layer consist of
(Wheater’s p.200)?

Proliferating chondrocytes

3. As you move deeper into the growth

plate, how does the morphology of the
chondrocytes and matrix change
(Wheater’s p.200)?

Cells get bigger by gaining more cytoplasm; also become more disperse
bone marrow
4. What are the three cell types found in bone (p.

1) osteoblast: builds bone

2) osteoclast: degrades bone
3) osteocytes: maintains bone

5. Osteoblasts build bone, whereas osteocytes

maintain bone. These two cell types are similar in
appearance, but can be distinguished by location.
Where in the bone can these cell types be found?

Osteoblast are located in the periphery

Osteocytes are located in the center, away from the
growth plate osteoblast osteocyte
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5. Within the red-staining cortical bone lining the
medullary cavity find the white circles. These
white circles are unstained and sometimes
have cells in their centers. (See Wheater’s p.

a) What are these white canals called?

Haversian canals

b) What do these canals contain? Haversian canal

Nerves and the blood vessels of the bone

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