CHAPTER 4
Connective Tissue
75
Figure 4-19A.
Reticular connective tissue, pancreas.
Silver
stain,
3
136
Reticular tissue
is a specialized loose connective tissue that
provides a delicate supporting framework for many highly
cellular organs, such as endocrine glands, lymphoid organs,
the spleen, and the liver.
Reticular f
bers
are shown in
black
with a silver stain. These F
bers are small in diameter and do
not form large bundles. They are arranged in a netlike frame-
work to support
parenchymal cells
, in this example,
pancre-
atic cells
. The
inset drawing
represents the organization of
reticular F
bers and pancreatic cells.
Figure 4-19B.
Reticular connective tissue, liver.
Silver
stain,
3
312
The
reticular f
bers
can be selectively visualized with a silver
stain, that is, they are
argyrophilic
. These F
bers consist of
col-
lagen type III
, which forms a meshlike network that supports
the liver cells and holds these cells together. The liver cells’
cytoplasm is unstained in this preparation, and the structure
of the cells is not easy to distinguish here. The
inset draw-
ing
represents the organization of reticular F
bers and
hepato-
cytes
. There is a
sinusoid
running between the reticular F
bers,
which appears as empty space here.
D. Cui
Reticular fibers
Reticular fibers
Reticular fibers
Pancreatic cells
Pancreatic cells
Pancreatic cells
A
Hepatocytes
Hepatocytes
Hepatocytes
Reticular fibers
Reticular fibers
Reticular fibers
B
CLINICAL CORRELATION
Figure 4-19C.
Cirrhosis.
Cirrhosis
is a liver disorder caused by chronic injury
to the hepatic parenchyma. The major causes of cir-
rhosis include alcoholism and chronic infection with
hepatitis B or hepatitis C virus. Pathologic changes are
characterized by the
collapse
of the delicate support-
ing
reticular connective tissue
with
increased numbers
o± collagen
and
elastic f bers
. There is disruption of
the liver architecture and vascular bed.
Regenerating
hepatocytes ±orm nodules
rather than the characteristic
columnar plates. Symptoms include
jaundice
,
edema
,
and
coagulopathy
(a defect of blood coagulation). The
resulting damage to the liver tissue impedes drain-
age of the portal venous system, a condition known
as
portal hypertension,
which may eventually lead to
gastroesophageal varices
,
splenomegaly
,
and
ascites
.
D. Cui
Damaged and reduced
reticular fibers
Collagen bundles and
elastic fibers have replaced
normal reticular fibers
Nodule of regenerated
liver cells
C
previous page 90 Dongmei Cui -  Atlas of Histology with Functional and Clinical Correlations 2011 read online next page 92 Dongmei Cui -  Atlas of Histology with Functional and Clinical Correlations 2011 read online Home Toggle text on/off