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Anatomy Essay, Research Paper

?Overview of Anatomy & Physiology?

Anatomy – is the study of the structure of the body parts & their

relationship to one another.

Physiology – concerns with the function of the body?s structural

machinery – how the body works.

Topics of Anatomy

Gross Anatomy – is the study of the large body structures visible to the

naked eye. It can be approached in different ways.

Regional Anatomy – is the study of all the structures in one particular


Systematic Anatomy – is when anatomy is studied system by system.

Surface Anatomy – is the study of the internal structures as they relate

to the overlying skin surface.

Microscopic Anatomy – is the study of structures too small to be seen

without a microscope.

Topics of Physiology

They are usually divided into operations of specific organ systems.

The Principle of Complementarity of structure & Function – Anatomy &

Physiology are taught together because the functions always reflect the


Levels of structural organization

Chemical level – this includes atoms & molecules.

Cellular level – is the smallest unit of living things.

Tissue level – are groups of similar cells that have a common function.

Organ level – an organ is at least two tissues that perform a specific

function of the body.

Organ System level – organs that work together to accomplish a

specific function.

Homework (pgs. 4-5) February 5,1999

?Summary of the Body?s Organ Systems?

Integumentary System – forms of the external body covering; protects

deeper body tissue from injury; synthesizes vitamin D; site of

cutaneous (pain, pressure, ect.) receptors, & sweat & oil glands.

Skeletal System – protects & supports body organs; provides the

framework the muscles use to cause movement; blood cells are formed

within bones; stores minerals.

Muscular System – allows manipulation of the environment,

locomotion, & facial expression; maintains posture; produces heat.

Nervous System – fast-acting control system of the body; responds to

internal & external changes of the body by activating appropriate

muscles & glands.

Endocrine System – glands secrete hormones that regulate processes

such as growth, reproduction, & nutrient use (metabolism) by body


Cardiovascular System – Blood vessels transport blood, which carries

oxygen, carbon dioxide, nutrients, ect.; the heart pumps blood.

Lymphatic System/Immunity – Picks up fluids leaked from blood

vessels & returns it to the blood; disposes of debris in the lymphatic

stream; houses white blood cells (lymphocytes) involved in immunity.

The immune response mounts the attack against foreign substances

within the body.

Respiratory System – keeps blood constantly supplied with oxygen &

removes carbon dioxide; the gaseous exchange occurs through the

walls of the air sacs of the lungs.

Digestive System – breaks down food into absorbable units that enter

the blood for distribution to the body cells; indigestible foodstuffs are

eliminated as feces.

Urinary System – eliminates nitrogenous waste from the body;

regulates water, electrolytes, & the acid-based balance in the blood.

Male Reproductive System – overall function is the production of

offspring. Testes produce sperm & male sex hormones; ducts & glands

aid in delivery of sperm to the female reproductive tract.

Female Reproductive System – overall function is the production of

offspring. Ovaries produce eggs & female sex hormones; remaining

structures serve as sites for fertilization & the development of the

fetus. Mammary glands of female breast produce milk to nourish the


Classwork (pgs. 6-8) February 8, 1999

?Maintaining Life?

Necessary Life Functions

Maintaining Boundaries – keeps its internal environment separate

from the external environment (ex.- skin or cell membrane).

Movement – all activities promoted by the muscular system; on the

cellular level, muscle cells contracting is called contractility.

Responsiveness – irritability is the ability to sense changes in the

environment & then respond to them.

Digestion – is the process of braking down ingested food into simple

molecules that can be absorbed into the blood.

Metabolism – all chemical reactions that occur within the body.

Excretion – is the process of removing wastes from the body; usually

refers to urine.

Reproduction – the making more of an organism; occurs asexually

(one) or sexually (two).

Growth – an increase in size.

Survival Needs

The goal of the body system is to maintain life. There are several factors

that need to be present, like:

Nutrients – these contain the chemical substances used for energy &

cell building.

Oxygen – chemical reactions in the body require oxygen.

Water – is the single most abundant substance in your body.


Homeostasis – is the body?s ability to maintain a relatively stable internal

condition, even though the outside world changes. There are three factors

in the homeostatic control organism:

Receptor – sensor that monitors the environment.

Control Center – analyzes input it receives & determines the

appropriate action.

Effector – provides the means to the response.

Classwork (pgs. 8-13, & 16) February 9, 1999

?Positive & Negative Feedback?

Most of the homeostatic control mechanisms are negative feedback

mechanisms. The net effect is that the output of the system shuts off the

original stimulus (ex.- heat & air conditioning in houses & glucose

regulating {pgs. 9 -10, fig. 1.5}).

Positive feedback mechanisms, (often referred to as cascades) the result

or response enhances the original stimulus so that the output (activity) is

accelerated {pg. 11, fig. 1.6}.

Regional Terms

Used to designate specific areas within the major body divisions.

Axial – part that makes up the main axis of the body; head, neck, &


Appendicular – part that consists of the appendages or limbs; arms &


Body Planes

In the study of Anatomy, the body is often sectioned along a flat surface

called a plane. A section is named for the plane along which it is cut.

Sagittal plane – a vertical plane that divides the body into left & right


Median or Midsagittal plane – a vertical plane that lies directly in the

center (midline) of the body

Frontal or Coronal plane – a vertical plane that divides the body into

anterior & posterior parts.

Transverse or Horizontal plane – a horizontal plane that divide the

body into superior & inferior parts; also called a cross section.

Body Cavities

Within the axial portion of the body are two large cavities. They are closed

to the out side & each contains internal organs.

Dorsal Body Cavity – contains two divisions.

Cranial cavity – within which the brain is encased by the skull.

Vertebral or Spinal cavity – runs within in the bony vertebral &

encloses the spinal cord.

Ventral Body Cavity – contains two divisions.

Thoracic cavity – surrounded by the ribs.

Pleural cavities – each houses a lung, & the medial mediastinum.

Pericardial cavity – within the mediastinum, encloses the

heart, & surrounds the thoracic organs (esophagus, trachea,


Abdominopelvic cavity – a dome-shaped muscle important in


Abdominal cavity – contains the stomach, spleen, liver,

intestines, & other organs.

Pelvic cavity – contains the bladder, rectum, & reproductive


Homework (pgs. 11-12, & 14) February 9, 1999

?Homeostatic Imbalance?

Homeostasis is so important that most disease is regarded as a result of

its disturbance, a condition called homeostatic imbalance. As we age, our

body organs & control systems become less efficient. As a result, our

internal environment becomes less & less stable. These events place us at

an even greater risk for illness & produce the changes we associate with


Another important source of homeostatic imbalance occurs in certain

pathological situations when the usual negative feedback mechanisms are

overwhelmed & destroyed by the positive feedback mechanisms take over.

Some instances of heart failure reflect this phenomenon.

?Anatomical Position & Directional Terms?

To describe body parts & position accurately, we need an initial reference

point & must use indications of direction. The anatomical reference point

is a standard body position called anatomical position. In this position,

the body is erect with feet together. The terms ?right? & ?left? refer to those

sides of the cadaver or the person being viewed – not to those of the


Directional terms allow us to explain exactly where one body structure is

in relation to another. Anatomical terminology saves words & is less

ambiguous; anatomical meanings are very precise.

Orientation & Directional Terms

Superior (cranial) – toward the head end or upper part of a structure

or the body; above. Example: The head is superior to the abdomen.

Inferior (caudal) – away from the head end or toward the lower part of

a structure or the body; below. Example: The navel is inferior to the


Anterior (ventral) – toward or at the front of the body; in front of.

Example: The breastbone is anterior to the spine.

Posterior (dorsal) – toward or the back of the body; behind. Example:

The heart is posterior to the breastbone.

Medial – toward or at the midline of the body; on the inner side of.

Example: The heart is medial to the arm.

Lateral – away from the midline of the body; on the outside of.

Example: The arms are lateral to the chest.

Intermediate – Between a more medial & more lateral structure;

Example: The collarbone is intermediate between the breastbone & the


Proximal – Closer to the origin of the body part or the point of

attachment of a limb to the body trunk. Example: The elbow is proximal

to the wrist.

Distal – farther from the origin of the body part or the point of

attachment of a limb to the body trunk. Example: The knee is distal to

the thigh.

Superficial – Toward or at the body surface. Example: The skin is

superficial to the skeletal muscles.

Deep – away from the body surface; more internal. Example: The lungs

are deep to the skin.

Classwork (pg. 17) February 10, 1999

?Body Cavities & Membranes?

Membranes in the Ventral Body Cavity

The walls of the ventral body cavity & the outer surfaces of the organs it

contains are covered by serous membrane. The one lining the cavity wall

is the parietal serosa, which folds on itself to form the visceral serosa {pg.

17, fig. 1.10} for all the cavities.

Other cavities

Oral & Digestive cavity – oral cavity, commonly called the mouth

Nasal cavity – located within & posterior to the nose.

Orbital cavities – house the eyes & present them in an anterior


Middle Ear cavities – carved into the temporal bone of the skull lie just

medial to the eardrum; contain tiny bones that transmit sound


Synovial cavities – are joint cavities; enclosed within fibrous capsules

that surround freely movable joints of the body (ex.- elbow & knee


Classwork (pgs. 109-113, 119,132, 134 ) February 12, 1999

?Types of Tissues?

Histology is the study of tissues, it complements the study of gross

anatomy. Tissues are groups of cells that are similar in structure &

perform a common function. Tissues are organizations of similar cells

that are surrounded & often embedded in a nonliving intercellular material

called a matrix.

Four Principle Types of Tissues

Epithelial tissue – is a sheet of cells that covers & protects the body

surface; lines body cavities; moves substances in & out of the blood; &

forms some glands.

Connective tissue – supports the body & connects body parts; found

everywhere in the body.

Muscle tissue – produce most types of body movement.

Nervous tissue – most complex body tissue; specializes in

communication between various parts of the body.

Functions of the Epithelial Tissue

Protection – the skin protects the body from mechanical, chemical, &

invading bacteria.

Sensory Functions – skin, nose, eyes. & ears.

Excretion – found in the lining of the kidneys tubule makes it possible.

Filtration – also in kidneys; filters blood so it can be excreted.

Secretion – secretes hormones, mucus, digestive juices, & sweat.

Absorption – found in the lining of the gut & respiratory tract. This

allows for absorption of nutrients from the gut; & exchange of gases

between the lungs & heart.

Classification of Epithelia

Each epithelium is given two names. The first name indicates the # of cell

layers present; the second describes the shape of its cells.

Simple Epithelia

The simple epithelia are concerned with absorption, secretion, & filtration.

Protection is not one of their specialties.

Simple Squamous Epithelium – their cells are flattened laterally & their

cytoplasm is spares; in a surface view, it resembles a tiled floor,

perpendicularly they resemble fried eggs. This epithelium is found were

filtration or the exchange of substances by rapid diffusion is a priority.

Simple Cuboidal Epithelium – consists of a single layer of cubical cells &

its spherical nuclei is stained darkly; looks like a string of beads when

viewed microscopically. It functions are excretion & absorption.

Simple Columnar Epithelium – seen a as a single layer of tall, closely

packed cells, aligned like soldiers in a row. Mostly associated with

absorption & secretion. It lines the digestive tract from the stomach to

the rectum.

Pseudostratified Columnar Epithelium – cells vary in height & rest on

the basement membrane, but only the tallest reach the apical surface

of the epithelium; the nuclei are located at different levels above the

basement, thus giving a false (pseudo) impression. They secrete &

absorb substances.

Homework (pgs. 109-110) February 12, 1999

?Special Characteristics of Epithelium?

Epithelial tissues have many characteristics that distinguish them from

other tissues types.

Cellularity. – Epithelial tissue is composed almost entirely of

close-packed cell. Only a tiny amount of extracellular material lies in

the narrow spaces between them.

Specialized contacts. – Epithelial cells fit closely together to form

continuous sheet. Adjacent cells are bound together at many points by

lateral contacts, including tight junctions & desmosomes.

Polarity. – All epithelia have an apical surface, a free surface exposed

to the body exterior or the cavity of an internal organ, & an attached

basal surface. All epithelia exhibit polarity, meaning that cells near the

apical surface differ from those at the basal surface in both structure &


Although some apical surfaces are smooth & slick, most have

microvilli, finger like extensions of the plasma membrane. Microvilli

tremendously increase the exposed surface area, & in epithelia that

absorb or secrete substances, the microvilli are often so dense that the

cell apices have a fuzzy appearance called a brush border. Some

epithelia, such as that lining the trachea, have motile cilia that propel

substances among their surfaces.

Lying adjacent to the basal surface of an epithelium is a thin

supporting sheet called the basal lamina. This noncellular, adhesive

sheet consists largely of glycoproteins secreted by the epithelial cells.

Functionally, the basal lamina acts as a selective filter; that is, it

determines which molecules diffusing from the underlying connective

tissue will be allowed to enter the epithelium. The basal lamina also

acts as a scaffolding along which epithelial cells can migrate to repair a


Supported by connective tissue. – All epithelial sheets rest upon & are

supported by connective tissue. Just deep to the basal lamina is the

reticular lamina, a layer of extracellular material containing a fine

network of collagen protein fibers that ?belong to? the underlying

connective tissue. Together the two laminae form the membrane

basement. The basement membrane reinforces the epithelial sheet,

helping it to resist stretching & tearing forces, & defines the epithelial


An important characteristic of cancerous epithelial cells is their

failure to respect this boundary, which they penetrate to invade the

tissue beneath.

Innervated but avascular. – Although epithelium is innervated (supplied

by nerve fibers), it is avascular (contains no blood vessels). Epithelial

cells are nourished by substances diffusing from blood vessels in the

underlying connective tissue.

Regeneration. – Epithelium has a high regenerative capacity. Some

epithelia are exposed to friction & their surface cells removed by

abrasion. Others are damaged by hostile substances in the external

environment (bacteria, acid, smoke). As long as epithelial cells receive

adequate nutrition, they can replace lost cells rapidly by cell division.

Classwork (pgs. 115-118) February 16, 1999

?Stratified & Glandular Epithelia?

Stratified Epithelia

Stratified epithelia consists of two or more cell layers.

Stratified Squamous Epithelium – is the most widespread of the

stratified; found in the exterior part of the skin.

Stratified Cuboidal & Stratified Columnar – are rare; usually found in

large ducts & some glands.

Transitional Epithelium – found in the lining of urinary organs.

Transitional epithelium can change shape in order to stretch.

Glandular Epithelia

Epithelium of the glandular type is specialized for secretory activity. All

glands are classified as exocrine or endocrine.

Exocrine glands – discharge their secretory products into ducts (ex.

salivary glands)

Endocrine glands – are ductless; they discharge their secretions

directly: hormones.

Multicellular exocrine glands have two structural elements: ducts &

secretory units. On the basis of their duct structures they are either

simple glands – single unbranched ducts or compound glands – that have a

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