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GLOSSARY of HISTOLOGICAL & MICRO-ANATOMICAL TERMS
from the Department of Anatomy, University of New South Wales, Sidney Australia,
Naboth, Martin. 1675-1721 Leipzig physician and anatomist, chemistry professor; Nabothian glands or cysts = swollen uterine cervical mucous glands (1707).
Nasmyth, Alexander. ?-1848. London dentist; N.'s membrane = cuticle of dental enamel (1839).
navicular fossa L. navicula = a little ship, a skiff + fossa = a ditch; hollowed out proximal surface of the tarsal equivalent of the carpal scaphoid, i.e., the navicular bone; navicular fossa of urethra = dilated terminal portion of urethra in penis; navicular fossa of vaginal vestibule.
necrosis G. nekrosis = a killing; cell death due to external cause.
nephron G. nephros = kidney; functional unit of kidney; adj. nephric.
nerve L. nervus from G. neuron = a fibre, sinew (N.B. Hippocrates and other early anatomists called all fibres "neurons", not distinguishing sinews from peripheral nerves; later Aristotle used term to describe a nerve in the modern sense); cf. neuron, cf. aponeurosis.
nervus vasi (nervi vasorum) L. nervus = nerve + vas = blood vessel; in tunica adventitia.
nest a group or collection of similar objects, e.g., a cell nest, a keratin pearl, q.v.
neurilemma (or neurolemma) G. neuron = nerve (q.v.) + lemma = husk; delicate layer extenal to myelin sheath of a Schwann cell around nerve fibre.
neurite G. neuron = nerve (q.v.); axon (= axis cylinder, q.v.) of nerve cell, conducting signals away from soma; cf. dendrite.
neuroglia see glia.
neurokeratin G. " + keras = horn; protein component of myelin sheath.
neurophysin G. " + physis = growth; intra-axonal protein of pars nervosa of hypophysis.
neuron (or neurone) G. neuron = sinew; nerve cell including its processes; cf. nerve; cf. aponeurosis.
neuropil G " + pilos = felt; tangled network of neural and glial structures around neuronal somas.
neurotubules protein tubules found in axoplasm.
neutrophil L. neuter = neither + philein = to love; of cells with no strong affinity for acidic or basic dyes; specific type of leucocyte.
nexus L. = a bond; gap junction between cells.
Nissl, Franz. 1860-1919 Heidelberg neurologist; N. bodies = chromatophilic granules or tigroid bodies in neuronal soma, consisting of rough endoplasmic reticulum.
nuclear fast red a basic dye.
nucleolus L. = a little kernel, dim. of L. nucleus = a nut (G. Valentin, 1836).
nucleus L. = a kernal; 1. central component in a soma (R. Brown, 1831), 2. cluster of nerve cells in central nervous system.
nucleus pulposus NA. = central gelatinous mass inside an intervertebral disc, remnant of notochord.
Nuhn, Anton. 1814-1889 Heidelberg anatomist; gland of N. = anterior lingual glands.
nulliparous L. nullus = none + pario = I bear (children).
numerical aperture product of refractive index of medium between coverglass and objective and sine of half aperture angle of objective lens, i.e., angle between optical axis and the most inclined ray accepted by the objective lens.
Oddi, Ruggero. (19th centuary, no dates) Perugia physiologist; sphincter of O. (1887) = circular smooth muscle fibres at termination of bile duct, first described by Glisson, q.v. (1654)
odontoblast G. odons = tooth + blastos = germ; cells which produce and maintain dentine.
oedema (-mata) G. oidema = swelling; excessive accumulation of fluid in tissue spaces.
oesophagus G. oiso = future of phero = I carry + pahgein = to eat; G. oisophagos = gullet, or tube carrying food from pharynx to stomach.
oligodendrocyte G. oligos = a little + dendron = tree + kytos = hollow vessel; a type of glial cell with few processes, responsible for making myelin sheaths in the central nervous system (del Hortega, 1921); cf. Schwann cell.
oncocyte G. oncos = mass + kytos = hollow vessel; solitary large glandular cell.
oocyte G. öon = egg + kytos = hollow vessel (cell); germ cell in ovary.
oolemma G. öon = egg + lemma = sheath; the zona pellucida, q.v.
ora serrata L. ora = sea-shore, extremity of something + serra = saw; notched anterior border of neural part of retina.
oral adj. L. os, oris = mouth; e.g. os uteri.
orbicularis oculi L. orbiculus = small circle, dim. L. orbis = a circle + oculus = eye; muscle around eye.
orbicularis oris L. " + oris = of a mouth; muscle around mouth.
organelle dim. of G. organon = a living part of body with special function, hence a little body; an intracellular component, e.g., a mitochondrion.
orthochromatophilic G. ortho = straight, correct + chroma = colour + philein = to love; of a type of erythroblast with a normal staining reaction for haemoglobin.
os L. os, ossis = a bone, e.g. os innominatum.
osmium tetroxide chemical staining lipids black.
ossicle L. ossiculum = a little bone, dim. L. os.
ossification L. os = bone + facere = to make.
osteoblast G. osteon = bone + blastos = germ; immature bone-producing cell.
osteoclast G. " + klan = to break; multinucleated bone cell that can reabsorp bone.
osteocyte G. " + kytos = hollow vessel, cell; mature bone cell.
osteogenic adj. G. " + gennan = to produce; of cells and conditions leading to ossification.
osteoid G. " + -oeides = of the form of; uncalcified, organic extracellular matrix of immature bone laid down by osteoblasts.
osteon G. = bone; system of concentric bony lamellae surrounding a canal containing nerves, blood vessels, etc.; cf. Havers.
ostium L. = a door.
otolith G. otikos = of the ear (G. ous = the ear) + lithos = stone; cystals embedded in mucus of maculae of utricle and saccule.
ovary L. ovum = egg, L. ovarius = a skilled and respected slave who looked after chickens and their eggs; the female gonad (Stensen, 1667). NB. "ovarium" is not Latin.
oviduct L. ovum = egg + ductus = a path; salpinx; uterine tube; cf. Fallopius.
ovum L. = an egg; oocyte.
oxyntic adj. G. oxyntos = making acid; parietal cells in gastric mucosa.
oxyphil G. oxys = sour, sharp + philein = to love; staining readily with acidic dyes.
oxytocin G. oxys = sharp, swift + tokos = childbirth; a hormone producing strong contractions of the uterine muscle.