Virtual Slide List


Access to the supplemental resources for this session is password-protected and restricted to University of Michigan students. If you are a University of Michigan student enrolled in a histology course at the University of Michigan, please click on the following link and use your Kerberos-password for access to download lecture handouts and the other resources.

Resources on M+Box

This collection was originally compiled by Kent Christensen, Ph.D., J. Matthew Velkey, Ph.D., Lloyd M. Stoolman, M.D., Laura Hessler, and Diedra Mosley-Brower. Currently, it is curated by Michael Hortsch, Ph.D. If you have questions or comments regarding the University of Michigan virtual slide collection, please contact Dr. Hortsch at hortsch at

Virtual Slide List for Histology Course

Search Description
Skin and Mammary Gland
Active lactating mammary gland, H&E, 40X
Nipple and areola, H&E, 20X (lactiferous duct, arrector pili muscle ).
UCSF 180
Finger tip, H&E, 40X
Epidermis: Review the layering of the epidermis. Remember that there is a continuous process of cell migration and differentiation from the basal cell layer to the most superficial layer. Review the features of the epidermal-dermal junction.
Epidermis - Details of the Stratum Spinosum: Observe the abundance of tonofibrils (= keratin intermediate filaments) and ribosomes and the small number of mitochondria. Note the absence of Golgi apparatus and granular endoplasmic reticulum. Epidermal cells do contain these organelles but in reduced amount, as the bulk of synthesis is for structural proteins, not exportable ones.
Epidermis – Details of the Stratum Granulosum and Stratum Corneum: Note the keratohyaline granules in the cells of the stratum granulosum. The keratinization process is completed in the cell layers above the stratum granulosum, indicated by the disappearance of nuclei and cell organelles. Note that the cornified cells are of variable appearance (some "dark" and some "light") a reflection of the tissue processing rather than of a functional difference.
Mammary Gland: Observe the process of true apocrine secretion. Lipid granules are released covered with a small amount of mammary gland cell cytoplasm, as well as the cell membrane. On the other hand, the protein components are released by the usual mechanism of exocytosis.
Urinary System
Ureter over-distended, rat, H&E, 40X
Ureter non-distended, rat, H&E, 40X
Kidney cortex, human, H&E, 40X.
Kidney, human, H&E, 40X (cortex, glomerulus, proximal tubule, distal tubule, collecting duct, cortical labyrinth, medullary ray, medulla, vasa recta, loop of Henle, arcuate artery, interlobular arteries and veins).
Kidney, monkey, vascular injection of red gelatin, counterstained with hematoxylin, 20X (kidney vasculature).
Kidney, human fetus, H&E, 20X (kidney lobes).
Kidney, monkey, including pelvis, H&E, 20X (medullary pyramid).
Kidney, monkey, H&E, 40X (cortex, glomerulus, proximal tubule, distal tubule, collecting duct, cortical labyrinth, medullary ray, medulla, vasa recta, loop of Henle, arcuate artery, interlobular arteries and veins).
Ureter, adult human, H&E, 40X (transitional epithelium, smooth muscle).
Bladder, human, H&E, 40X (transitional epithelium, smooth muscle).
Kidney monkey, PAS/Pb hematoxylin stain, 40X
Duke University 98
Bladder non-distended, H&E, 40X
Glomerulus: Study the architecture of the glomerulus in this section of renal corpuscle. Review the organization and function of the glomerular endothelium, basement membrane and the podocytes. (The vascular pole is included in the plane of section, but not the urinary pole. The juxtaglomerular cells are secretory cells, derived from smooth muscle cells of the afferent arteriole. The macula densa shown here is cut in tangential section passing only through its wall and does not include the lumen (the rest of the tubule is out of the plane of section). You can at least see the closely-packed nuclei that are characteristic of this modified portion of the distal tubule.
Glomerulus Detail: Review the components of the glomerular filtration barrier and note that podocytes and their foot processes (pedicels) form the visceral layer of the Bowman’s capsule.
Proximal Convoluted Tubule (cross section): Note the brush border, composed of closely packed microvilli. Note the numerous mitochondria, in association with basal infoldings of the plasma membrane. Lateral cell membranes are not clearly visible because of extensive interdigitation of neighboring cells.
Distal Convoluted Tubule: Compare the distal convoluted tubule shown here with the proximal tubule seen in the previous micrograph. Note that, like the epithelial cells of the proximal convoluted tubule, these there are also abundant mitochondria (which you would expect since these cells are involved in the active transport of sodium). However, there are very few microvilli.
Loop of Henle: Note the abrupt transition of the epithelium lining thin segment to thick segment of the loop of Henle.
Papillary Collecting Duct (Duct of Bellini, cross section): The cells of the collecting duct grow taller as the duct approaches the renal papilla.
Urinary Bladder – Transitional Epithelium: The wall of the urinary bladder contains 3 layers of somewhat irregularly arranged smooth muscle.