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14.3: Anatomy and Physiology of the Female Reproductive System - Biology

14.3: Anatomy and Physiology of the Female Reproductive System - Biology


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The female reproductive system functions to produce gametes and reproductive hormones, just like the male reproductive system; however, it also has the additional task of supporting the developing fetus and delivering it to the outside world. First, let’s look at some of the structures of the female reproductive system.

Female Reproductive System

The major organs of the female reproductive system are located inside the pelvic cavity.


External Female Genitals

The external female reproductive structures are referred to collectively as the vulva. The mons pubis is a pad of fat that is located at the anterior, over the pubic bone. After puberty, it becomes covered in pubic hair. The labia majora (labia = “lips”; majora = “larger”) are folds of hair-covered skin that begin just posterior to the mons pubis. The thinner and more pigmented labia minora (labia = “lips”; minora = “smaller”) extend medial to the labia majora. Although they naturally vary in shape and size from woman to woman, the labia minora serve to protect the female urethra and the entrance to the female reproductive tract.

The superior, anterior portions of the labia minora come together to encircle the clitoris (or glans clitoris), an organ that originates from the same cells as the glans penis and has abundant nerves that make it important in sexual sensation and orgasm. The hymen is a thin membrane that sometimes partially covers the entrance to the vagina. An intact hymen cannot be used as an indication of “virginity”; even at birth, this is only a partial membrane, as menstrual fluid and other secretions must be able to exit the body, regardless of penile–vaginal intercourse. The vaginal opening is located between the opening of the urethra and the anus. It is flanked by outlets to the Bartholin’s glands (or greater vestibular glands).

The Vulva

The external female genitalia are referred to collectively as the vulva.


Vagina

The vagina is a muscular canal (approximately 10 cm long) that serves as the entrance to the reproductive tract. It also serves as the exit from the uterus during menses and childbirth. The outer walls of the anterior and posterior vagina are formed into longitudinal columns, or ridges, and the superior portion of the vagina—called the fornix—meets the protruding uterine cervix. The walls of the vagina are lined with an outer, fibrous adventitia; a middle layer of smooth muscle; and an inner mucous membrane with transverse folds called rugae. Together, the middle and inner layers allow the expansion of the vagina to accommodate intercourse and childbirth. The thin, perforated hymen can partially surround the opening to the vaginal orifice. The hymen can be ruptured with strenuous physical exercise, penile–vaginal intercourse, and childbirth. The Bartholin’s glands and the lesser vestibular glands (located near the clitoris) secrete mucus, which keeps the vestibular area moist.

The vagina is home to a normal population of microorganisms that help to protect against infection by pathogenic bacteria, yeast, or other organisms that can enter the vagina. In a healthy woman, the most predominant type of vaginal bacteria is from the genus Lactobacillus. This family of beneficial bacterial flora secretes lactic acid, and thus protects the vagina by maintaining an acidic pH (below 4.5). Potential pathogens are less likely to survive in these acidic conditions. Lactic acid, in combination with other vaginal secretions, makes the vagina a self-cleansing organ. However, douching—or washing out the vagina with fluid—can disrupt the normal balance of healthy microorganisms, and actually increase a woman’s risk for infections and irritation. Indeed, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that women do not douche, and that they allow the vagina to maintain its normal healthy population of protective microbial flora.

Ovaries

The ovaries are the female gonads. Paired ovals, they are each about 2 to 3 cm in length, about the size of an almond. The ovaries are located within the pelvic cavity, and are supported by the mesovarium, an extension of the peritoneum that connects the ovaries to the broad ligament. Extending from the mesovarium itself is the suspensory ligament that contains the ovarian blood and lymph vessels. Finally, the ovary itself is attached to the uterus via the ovarian ligament.

The ovary comprises an outer covering of cuboidal epithelium called the ovarian surface epithelium that is superficial to a dense connective tissue covering called the tunica albuginea. Beneath the tunica albuginea is the cortex, or outer portion, of the organ. The cortex is composed of a tissue framework called the ovarian stroma that forms the bulk of the adult ovary. Oocytes develop within the outer layer of this stroma, each surrounded by supporting cells. This grouping of an oocyte and its supporting cells is called a follicle. The growth and development of ovarian follicles will be described shortly. Beneath the cortex lies the inner ovarian medulla, the site of blood vessels, lymph vessels, and the nerves of the ovary. You will learn more about the overall anatomy of the female reproductive system at the end of this section.

The Ovarian Cycle

The ovarian cycle is a set of predictable changes in a female’s oocytes and ovarian follicles. During a woman’s reproductive years, it is a roughly 28-day cycle that can be correlated with, but is not the same as, the menstrual cycle (discussed shortly). The cycle includes two interrelated processes: oogenesis (the production of female gametes) and folliculogenesis (the growth and development of ovarian follicles).

Oogenesis

Gametogenesis in females is called oogenesis. The process begins with the ovarian stem cells, or oogonia. Oogonia are formed during fetal development, and divide via mitosis, much like spermatogonia in the testis. Unlike spermatogonia, however, oogonia form primary oocytes in the fetal ovary prior to birth. These primary oocytes are then arrested in this stage of meiosis I, only to resume it years later, beginning at puberty and continuing until the woman is near menopause (the cessation of a woman’s reproductive functions). The number of primary oocytes present in the ovaries declines from one to two million in an infant, to approximately 400,000 at puberty, to zero by the end of menopause.

The initiation of ovulation—the release of an oocyte from the ovary—marks the transition from puberty into reproductive maturity for women. From then on, throughout a woman’s reproductive years, ovulation occurs approximately once every 28 days. Just prior to ovulation, a surge of luteinizing hormone triggers the resumption of meiosis in a primary oocyte. This initiates the transition from primary to secondary oocyte. However, as you can see in the diagram below, this cell division does not result in two identical cells. Instead, the cytoplasm is divided unequally, and one daughter cell is much larger than the other. This larger cell, the secondary oocyte, eventually leaves the ovary during ovulation. The smaller cell, called the first polar body, may or may not complete meiosis and produce second polar bodies; in either case, it eventually disintegrates. Therefore, even though oogenesis produces up to four cells, only one survives.

Oogenesis

The unequal cell division of oogenesis produces one to three polar bodies that later degrade, as well as a single haploid ovum, which is produced only if there is penetration of the secondary oocyte by a sperm cell.

How does the diploid secondary oocyte become an ovum—the haploid female gamete? Meiosis of a secondary oocyte is completed only if a sperm succeeds in penetrating its barriers. Meiosis II then resumes, producing one haploid ovum that, at the instant of fertilization by a (haploid) sperm, becomes the first diploid cell of the new offspring (a zygote). Thus, the ovum can be thought of as a brief, transitional, haploid stage between the diploid oocyte and diploid zygote.

The larger amount of cytoplasm contained in the female gamete is used to supply the developing zygote with nutrients during the period between fertilization and implantation into the uterus. Interestingly, sperm contribute only DNA at fertilization —not cytoplasm. Therefore, the cytoplasm and all of the cytoplasmic organelles in the developing embryo are of maternal origin. This includes mitochondria, which contain their own DNA. Scientific research in the 1980s determined that mitochondrial DNA was maternally inherited, meaning that you can trace your mitochondrial DNA directly to your mother, her mother, and so on back through your female ancestors.

Everyday Connections

Mapping Human History with Mitochondrial DNAWhen we talk about human DNA, we’re usually referring to nuclear DNA; that is, the DNA coiled into chromosomal bundles in the nucleus of our cells. We inherit half of our nuclear DNA from our father, and half from our mother. However, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) comes only from the mitochondria in the cytoplasm of the fat ovum we inherit from our mother. She received her mtDNA from her mother, who got it from her mother, and so on. Each of our cells contains approximately 1700 mitochondria, with each mitochondrion packed with mtDNA containing approximately 37 genes.

Mutations (changes) in mtDNA occur spontaneously in a somewhat organized pattern at regular intervals in human history. By analyzing these mutational relationships, researchers have been able to determine that we can all trace our ancestry back to one woman who lived in Africa about 200,000 years ago. Scientists have given this woman the biblical name Eve, although she is not, of course, the first Homo sapiens female. More precisely, she is our most recent common ancestor through matrilineal descent.

This doesn’t mean that everyone’s mtDNA today looks exactly like that of our ancestral Eve. Because of the spontaneous mutations in mtDNA that have occurred over the centuries, researchers can map different “branches” off of the “main trunk” of our mtDNA family tree. Your mtDNA might have a pattern of mutations that aligns more closely with one branch, and your neighbor’s may align with another branch. Still, all branches eventually lead back to Eve.

But what happened to the mtDNA of all of the other Homo sapiens females who were living at the time of Eve? Researchers explain that, over the centuries, their female descendants died childless or with only male children, and thus, their maternal line—and its mtDNA—ended.

Folliculogenesis

Again, ovarian follicles are oocytes and their supporting cells. They grow and develop in a process called folliculogenesis, which typically leads to ovulation of one follicle approximately every 28 days, along with death to multiple other follicles. The death of ovarian follicles is called atresia, and can occur at any point during follicular development. Recall that, a female infant at birth will have one to two million oocytes within her ovarian follicles, and that this number declines throughout life until menopause, when no follicles remain. As you’ll see next, follicles progress from primordial, to primary, to secondary and tertiary stages prior to ovulation—with the oocyte inside the follicle remaining as a primary oocyte until right before ovulation.

Folliculogenesis begins with follicles in a resting state. These small primordial follicles are present in newborn females and are the prevailing follicle type in the adult ovary. Primordial follicles have only a single flat layer of support cells, called granulosa cells, that surround the oocyte, and they can stay in this resting state for years—some until right before menopause.

After puberty, a few primordial follicles will respond to a recruitment signal each day, and will join a pool of immature growing follicles called primary follicles. Primary follicles start with a single layer of granulosa cells, but the granulosa cells then become active and transition from a flat or squamous shape to a rounded, cuboidal shape as they increase in size and proliferate. As the granulosa cells divide, the follicles—now called secondary follicles—increase in diameter, adding a new outer layer of connective tissue, blood vessels, and theca cells—cells that work with the granulosa cells to produce estrogens.

Within the growing secondary follicle, the primary oocyte now secretes a thin acellular membrane called the zona pellucida that will play a critical role in fertilization. A thick fluid, called follicular fluid, that has formed between the granulosa cells also begins to collect into one large pool, or antrum. Follicles in which the antrum has become large and fully formed are considered tertiary follicles (or antral follicles). Several follicles reach the tertiary stage at the same time, and most of these will undergo atresia. The one that does not die will continue to grow and develop until ovulation, when it will expel its secondary oocyte surrounded by several layers of granulosa cells from the ovary. Keep in mind that most follicles don’t make it to this point. In fact, roughly 99 percent of the follicles in the ovary will undergo atresia, which can occur at any stage of folliculogenesis.

Folliculogenesis

(a) The maturation of a follicle is shown in a clockwise direction proceeding from the primordial follicles. FSH stimulates the growth of a tertiary follicle, and LH stimulates the production of estrogen by granulosa and theca cells. Once the follicle is mature, it ruptures and releases the oocyte. Cells remaining in the follicle then develop into the corpus luteum. (b) In this electron micrograph of a secondary follicle, the oocyte, theca cells (thecae folliculi), and developing antrum are clearly visible. EM × 1100. (Micrograph provided by the Regents of University of Michigan Medical School © 2012)


Hormonal Control of the Ovarian Cycle

The process of development that we have just described, from primordial follicle to early tertiary follicle, takes approximately two months in humans. The final stages of development of a small cohort of tertiary follicles, ending with ovulation of a secondary oocyte, occur over a course of approximately 28 days. These changes are regulated by many of the same hormones that regulate the male reproductive system, including GnRH, LH, and FSH.

As in men, the hypothalamus produces GnRH, a hormone that signals the anterior pituitary gland to produce the gonadotropins FSH and LH. These gonadotropins leave the pituitary and travel through the bloodstream to the ovaries, where they bind to receptors on the granulosa and theca cells of the follicles. FSH stimulates the follicles to grow (hence its name of follicle-stimulating hormone), and the five or six tertiary follicles expand in diameter. The release of LH also stimulates the granulosa and theca cells of the follicles to produce the sex steroid hormone estradiol, a type of estrogen. This phase of the ovarian cycle, when the tertiary follicles are growing and secreting estrogen, is known as the follicular phase.

The more granulosa and theca cells a follicle has (that is, the larger and more developed it is), the more estrogen it will produce in response to LH stimulation. As a result of these large follicles producing large amounts of estrogen, systemic plasma estrogen concentrations increase. Following a classic negative feedback loop, the high concentrations of estrogen will stimulate the hypothalamus and pituitary to reduce the production of GnRH, LH, and FSH. Because the large tertiary follicles require FSH to grow and survive at this point, this decline in FSH caused by negative feedback leads most of them to die (atresia). Typically only one follicle, now called the dominant follicle, will survive this reduction in FSH, and this follicle will be the one that releases an oocyte. Scientists have studied many factors that lead to a particular follicle becoming dominant: size, the number of granulosa cells, and the number of FSH receptors on those granulosa cells all contribute to a follicle becoming the one surviving dominant follicle.

Hormonal Regulation of Ovulation

The hypothalamus and pituitary gland regulate the ovarian cycle and ovulation. GnRH activates the anterior pituitary to produce LH and FSH, which stimulate the production of estrogen and progesterone by the ovaries.


When only the one dominant follicle remains in the ovary, it again begins to secrete estrogen. It produces more estrogen than all of the developing follicles did together before the negative feedback occurred. It produces so much estrogen that the normal negative feedback doesn’t occur. Instead, these extremely high concentrations of systemic plasma estrogen trigger a regulatory switch in the anterior pituitary that responds by secreting large amounts of LH and FSH into the bloodstream. The positive feedback loop by which more estrogen triggers release of more LH and FSH only occurs at this point in the cycle.

It is this large burst of LH (called the LH surge) that leads to ovulation of the dominant follicle. The LH surge induces many changes in the dominant follicle, including stimulating the resumption of meiosis of the primary oocyte to a secondary oocyte. As noted earlier, the polar body that results from unequal cell division simply degrades. The LH surge also triggers proteases (enzymes that cleave proteins) to break down structural proteins in the ovary wall on the surface of the bulging dominant follicle. This degradation of the wall, combined with pressure from the large, fluid-filled antrum, results in the expulsion of the oocyte surrounded by granulosa cells into the peritoneal cavity. This release is ovulation.

In the next section, you will follow the ovulated oocyte as it travels toward the uterus, but there is one more important event that occurs in the ovarian cycle. The surge of LH also stimulates a change in the granulosa and theca cells that remain in the follicle after the oocyte has been ovulated. This change is called luteinization (recall that the full name of LH is luteinizing hormone), and it transforms the collapsed follicle into a new endocrine structure called the corpus luteum, a term meaning “yellowish body”. Instead of estrogen, the luteinized granulosa and theca cells of the corpus luteum begin to produce large amounts of the sex steroid hormone progesterone, a hormone that is critical for the establishment and maintenance of pregnancy. Progesterone triggers negative feedback at the hypothalamus and pituitary, which keeps GnRH, LH, and FSH secretions low, so no new dominant follicles develop at this time.

The post-ovulatory phase of progesterone secretion is known as the luteal phase of the ovarian cycle. If pregnancy does not occur within 10 to 12 days, the corpus luteum will stop secreting progesterone and degrade into the corpus albicans, a nonfunctional “whitish body” that will disintegrate in the ovary over a period of several months. During this time of reduced progesterone secretion, FSH and LH are once again stimulated, and the follicular phase begins again with a new cohort of early tertiary follicles beginning to grow and secrete estrogen.

The Uterine Tubes

The uterine tubes (also called fallopian tubes or oviducts) serve as the conduit of the oocyte from the ovary to the uterus. Each of the two uterine tubes is close to, but not directly connected to, the ovary and divided into sections. The isthmus is the narrow medial end of each uterine tube that is connected to the uterus. The wide distal infundibulum flares out with slender, finger-like projections called fimbriae. The middle region of the tube, called the ampulla, is where fertilization often occurs. The uterine tubes also have three layers: an outer serosa, a middle smooth muscle layer, and an inner mucosal layer. In addition to its mucus-secreting cells, the inner mucosa contains ciliated cells that beat in the direction of the uterus, producing a current that will be critical to move the oocyte.

Following ovulation, the secondary oocyte surrounded by a few granulosa cells is released into the peritoneal cavity. The nearby uterine tube, either left or right, receives the oocyte. Unlike sperm, oocytes lack flagella, and therefore cannot move on their own. So how do they travel into the uterine tube and toward the uterus? High concentrations of estrogen that occur around the time of ovulation induce contractions of the smooth muscle along the length of the uterine tube. These contractions occur every 4 to 8 seconds, and the result is a coordinated movement that sweeps the surface of the ovary and the pelvic cavity. Current flowing toward the uterus is generated by coordinated beating of the cilia that line the outside and lumen of the length of the uterine tube. These cilia beat more strongly in response to the high estrogen concentrations that occur around the time of ovulation. As a result of these mechanisms, the oocyte–granulosa cell complex is pulled into the interior of the tube. Once inside, the muscular contractions and beating cilia move the oocyte slowly toward the uterus. When fertilization does occur, sperm typically meet the egg while it is still moving through the ampulla.

If the oocyte is successfully fertilized, the resulting zygote will begin to divide into two cells, then four, and so on, as it makes its way through the uterine tube and into the uterus. There, it will implant and continue to grow. If the egg is not fertilized, it will simply degrade—either in the uterine tube or in the uterus, where it may be shed with the next menstrual period.

Ovaries, Uterine Tubes, and Uterus

This anterior view shows the relationship of the ovaries, uterine tubes (oviducts), and uterus. Sperm enter through the vagina, and fertilization of an ovulated oocyte usually occurs in the distal uterine tube. From left to right, LM × 400, LM × 20. (Micrographs provided by the Regents of University of Michigan Medical School © 2012)

The open-ended structure of the uterine tubes can have significant health consequences if bacteria or other contagions enter through the vagina and move through the uterus, into the tubes, and then into the pelvic cavity. If this is left unchecked, a bacterial infection (sepsis) could quickly become life-threatening. The spread of an infection in this manner is of special concern when unskilled practitioners perform abortions in non-sterile conditions. Sepsis is also associated with sexually transmitted bacterial infections, especially gonorrhea and chlamydia. These increase a woman’s risk for pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), infection of the uterine tubes or other reproductive organs. Even when resolved, PID can leave scar tissue in the tubes, leading to infertility.

The Uterus and Cervix

The uterus is the muscular organ that nourishes and supports the growing embryo. Its average size is approximately 5 cm wide by 7 cm long (approximately 2 in by 3 in) when a female is not pregnant. It has three sections. The portion of the uterus superior to the opening of the uterine tubes is called the fundus. The middle section of the uterus is called the body of uterus (or corpus). The cervix is the narrow inferior portion of the uterus that projects into the vagina. The cervix produces mucus secretions that become thin and stringy under the influence of high systemic plasma estrogen concentrations, and these secretions can facilitate sperm movement through the reproductive tract.

Several ligaments maintain the position of the uterus within the abdominopelvic cavity. The broad ligament is a fold of peritoneum that serves as a primary support for the uterus, extending laterally from both sides of the uterus and attaching it to the pelvic wall. The round ligament attaches to the uterus near the uterine tubes, and extends to the labia majora. Finally, the uterosacral ligament stabilizes the uterus posteriorly by its connection from the cervix to the pelvic wall.

The wall of the uterus is made up of three layers. The most superficial layer is the serous membrane, or perimetrium, which consists of epithelial tissue that covers the exterior portion of the uterus. The middle layer, or myometrium, is a thick layer of smooth muscle responsible for uterine contractions. Most of the uterus is myometrial tissue, and the muscle fibers run horizontally, vertically, and diagonally, allowing the powerful contractions that occur during labor and the less powerful contractions (or cramps) that help to expel menstrual blood during a woman’s period. Anteriorly directed myometrial contractions also occur near the time of ovulation, and are thought to possibly facilitate the transport of sperm through the female reproductive tract.

The innermost layer of the uterus is called the endometrium. The endometrium contains a connective tissue lining, the lamina propria, which is covered by epithelial tissue that lines the lumen. Structurally, the endometrium consists of two layers: the stratum basalis and the stratum functionalis (the basal and functional layers). The stratum basalis layer is part of the lamina propria and is adjacent to the myometrium; this layer does not shed during menses. In contrast, the thicker stratum functionalis layer contains the glandular portion of the lamina propria and the endothelial tissue that lines the uterine lumen. It is the stratum functionalis that grows and thickens in response to increased levels of estrogen and progesterone. In the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, special branches off of the uterine artery called spiral arteries supply the thickened stratum functionalis. This inner functional layer provides the proper site of implantation for the fertilized egg, and—should fertilization not occur—it is only the stratum functionalis layer of the endometrium that sheds during menstruation.

Recall that during the follicular phase of the ovarian cycle, the tertiary follicles are growing and secreting estrogen. At the same time, the stratum functionalis of the endometrium is thickening to prepare for a potential implantation. The post-ovulatory increase in progesterone, which characterizes the luteal phase, is key for maintaining a thick stratum functionalis. As long as a functional corpus luteum is present in the ovary, the endometrial lining is prepared for implantation. Indeed, if an embryo implants, signals are sent to the corpus luteum to continue secreting progesterone to maintain the endometrium, and thus maintain the pregnancy. If an embryo does not implant, no signal is sent to the corpus luteum and it degrades, ceasing progesterone production and ending the luteal phase. Without progesterone, the endometrium thins and, under the influence of prostaglandins, the spiral arteries of the endometrium constrict and rupture, preventing oxygenated blood from reaching the endometrial tissue. As a result, endometrial tissue dies and blood, pieces of the endometrial tissue, and white blood cells are shed through the vagina during menstruation, or the menses. The first menses after puberty, called menarche, can occur either before or after the first ovulation.

The Menstrual Cycle

Now that we have discussed the maturation of the cohort of tertiary follicles in the ovary, the build-up and then shedding of the endometrial lining in the uterus, and the function of the uterine tubes and vagina, we can put everything together to talk about the three phases of the menstrual cycle—the series of changes in which the uterine lining is shed, rebuilds, and prepares for implantation.

The timing of the menstrual cycle starts with the first day of menses, referred to as day one of a woman’s period. Cycle length is determined by counting the days between the onset of bleeding in two subsequent cycles. Because the average length of a woman’s menstrual cycle is 28 days, this is the time period used to identify the timing of events in the cycle. However, the length of the menstrual cycle varies among women, and even in the same woman from one cycle to the next, typically from 21 to 32 days.

Just as the hormones produced by the granulosa and theca cells of the ovary “drive” the follicular and luteal phases of the ovarian cycle, they also control the three distinct phases of the menstrual cycle. These are the menses phase, the proliferative phase, and the secretory phase.

Menses Phase

The menses phase of the menstrual cycle is the phase during which the lining is shed; that is, the days that the woman menstruates. Although it averages approximately five days, the menses phase can last from 2 to 7 days, or longer. As shown in the diagram below, the menses phase occurs during the early days of the follicular phase of the ovarian cycle, when progesterone, FSH, and LH levels are low. Recall that progesterone concentrations decline as a result of the degradation of the corpus luteum, marking the end of the luteal phase. This decline in progesterone triggers the shedding of the stratum functionalis of the endometrium.

Hormone Levels in Ovarian and Menstrual Cycles

The correlation of the hormone levels and their effects on the female reproductive system is shown in this timeline of the ovarian and menstrual cycles. The menstrual cycle begins at day one with the start of menses. Ovulation occurs around day 14 of a 28-day cycle, triggered by the LH surge.


Proliferative Phase

Once menstrual flow ceases, the endometrium begins to proliferate again, marking the beginning of the proliferative phase of the menstrual cycle. It occurs when the granulosa and theca cells of the tertiary follicles begin to produce increased amounts of estrogen. These rising estrogen concentrations stimulate the endometrial lining to rebuild.

Recall that the high estrogen concentrations will eventually lead to a decrease in FSH as a result of negative feedback, resulting in atresia of all but one of the developing tertiary follicles. The switch to positive feedback—which occurs with the elevated estrogen production from the dominant follicle—then stimulates the LH surge that will trigger ovulation. In a typical 28-day menstrual cycle, ovulation occurs on day 14. Ovulation marks the end of the proliferative phase as well as the end of the follicular phase.

Secretory Phase

In addition to prompting the LH surge, high estrogen levels increase the uterine tube contractions that facilitate the pick-up and transfer of the ovulated oocyte. High estrogen levels also slightly decrease the acidity of the vagina, making it more hospitable to sperm. In the ovary, the luteinization of the granulosa cells of the collapsed follicle forms the progesterone-producing corpus luteum, marking the beginning of the luteal phase of the ovarian cycle. In the uterus, progesterone from the corpus luteum begins the secretory phase of the menstrual cycle, in which the endometrial lining prepares for implantation. Over the next 10 to 12 days, the endometrial glands secrete a fluid rich in glycogen. If fertilization has occurred, this fluid will nourish the ball of cells now developing from the zygote. At the same time, the spiral arteries develop to provide blood to the thickened stratum functionalis.

If no pregnancy occurs within approximately 10 to 12 days, the corpus luteum will degrade into the corpus albicans. Levels of both estrogen and progesterone will fall, and the endometrium will grow thinner. Prostaglandins will be secreted that cause constriction of the spiral arteries, reducing oxygen supply. The endometrial tissue will die, resulting in menses—or the first day of the next cycle.

The Breasts

Whereas the breasts are located far from the other female reproductive organs, they are considered accessory organs of the female reproductive system. The function of the breasts is to supply milk to an infant in a process called lactation. The external features of the breast include a nipple surrounded by a pigmented areola, whose coloration may deepen during pregnancy. The areola is typically circular and can vary in size from 25 to 100 mm in diameter. The areolar region is characterized by small, raised areolar glands that secrete lubricating fluid during lactation to protect the nipple from chafing. When a baby nurses, or draws milk from the breast, the entire areolar region is taken into the mouth.

Breast milk is produced by the mammary glands, which are modified sweat glands. The milk itself exits the breast through the nipple via 15 to 20 lactiferous ducts that open on the surface of the nipple. These lactiferous ducts each extend to a lactiferous sinus that connects to a glandular lobe within the breast itself that contains groups of milk-secreting cells in clusters called alveoli. The clusters can change in size depending on the amount of milk in the alveolar lumen. Once milk is made in the alveoli, stimulated myoepithelial cells that surround the alveoli contract to push the milk to the lactiferous sinuses. From here, the baby can draw milk through the lactiferous ducts by suckling. The lobes themselves are surrounded by fat tissue, which determines the size of the breast; breast size differs between individuals and does not affect the amount of milk produced. Supporting the breasts are multiple bands of connective tissue called suspensory ligaments that connect the breast tissue to the dermis of the overlying skin.

Anatomy of the Breast

During lactation, milk moves from the alveoli through the lactiferous ducts to the nipple.


During the normal hormonal fluctuations in the menstrual cycle, breast tissue responds to changing levels of estrogen and progesterone, which can lead to swelling and breast tenderness in some individuals, especially during the secretory phase. If pregnancy occurs, the increase in hormones leads to further development of the mammary tissue and enlargement of the breasts.

Hormonal Birth Control

Birth control pills take advantage of the negative feedback system that regulates the ovarian and menstrual cycles to stop ovulation and prevent pregnancy. Typically they work by providing a constant level of both estrogen and progesterone, which negatively feeds back onto the hypothalamus and pituitary, thus preventing the release of FSH and LH. Without FSH, the follicles do not mature, and without the LH surge, ovulation does not occur. Although the estrogen in birth control pills does stimulate some thickening of the endometrial wall, it is reduced compared with a normal cycle and is less likely to support implantation.

Some birth control pills contain 21 active pills containing hormones, and 7 inactive pills (placebos). The decline in hormones during the week that the woman takes the placebo pills triggers menses, although it is typically lighter than a normal menstrual flow because of the reduced endometrial thickening. Newer types of birth control pills have been developed that deliver low-dose estrogens and progesterone for the entire cycle (these are meant to be taken 365 days a year), and menses never occurs. While some women prefer to have the proof of a lack of pregnancy that a monthly period provides, menstruation every 28 days is not required for health reasons, and there are no reported adverse effects of not having a menstrual period in an otherwise healthy individual.

Because birth control pills function by providing constant estrogen and progesterone levels and disrupting negative feedback, skipping even just one or two pills at certain points of the cycle (or even being several hours late taking the pill) can lead to an increase in FSH and LH and result in ovulation. It is important, therefore, that the woman follow the directions on the birth control pill package to successfully prevent pregnancy.


14.3 The Pituitary Gland and Hypothalamus

The hypothalamus–pituitary complex can be thought of as the “command centre” of the endocrine system. This complex secretes several hormones that directly produce responses in target tissues, as well as hormones that regulate the synthesis and secretion of hormones of other glands. In addition, the hypothalamus–pituitary complex coordinates the messages of the endocrine and nervous systems. In many cases, a stimulus received by the nervous system must pass through the hypothalamus–pituitary complex to be translated into hormones that can initiate a response.

The hypothalamus is a structure of the diencephalon of the brain located anterior and inferior to the thalamus (Figure 14.3.1). It has both neural and endocrine functions, producing and secreting many hormones. In addition, the hypothalamus is anatomically and functionally related to the pituitary gland (or hypophysis), a bean-sized organ suspended from it by a stem called the infundibulum (or pituitary stalk). The pituitary gland is cradled within the sella turcica of the sphenoid bone of the skull. It consists of two lobes that arise from distinct parts of embryonic tissue: the posterior pituitary (neurohypophysis) is neural tissue, whereas the anterior pituitary (also known as the adenohypophysis) is glandular tissue that develops from the primitive digestive tract, specifically the developing hard palate. The hormones secreted by the posterior and anterior pituitary, and the intermediate zone between the lobes are summarised in Table 14.3.1.

Figure 14.3.1. Hypothalamus–pituitary complex. The hypothalamus region lies inferior and anterior to the thalamus. It connects to the pituitary gland by the stalk-like infundibulum. The pituitary gland consists of an anterior and posterior lobe, with each lobe secreting different hormones in response to signals from the hypothalamus.

Table 14.3.3. Pituitary hormones


Figure 14.3.2 The wall of the heart is made up mainly of myocardium, which consists largely of cardiac muscle.

As shown in Figure 14.3.2, the wall of the heart is made up of three layers, called the endocardium, myocardium, and pericardium.

  • The endocardium is the innermost layer of the heart wall. It is made up primarily of simple epithelial cells. It covers the heart chambers and valves. A thin layer of connective tissue joins the endocardium to the myocardium.
  • The myocardium is the middle and thickest layer of the heart wall. It consists of cardiac muscle surrounded by a framework of collagen. There are two types of cardiac muscle cells in the myocardium: cardiomyocytes — which have the ability to contract easily — and pacemaker cells, which conduct electrical impulses that cause the cardiomyocytes to contract. About 99 per cent of cardiac muscle cells are cardiomyocytes, and the remaining one per cent is pacemaker cells. The myocardium is supplied with blood vessels and nerve fibres via the pericardium.
  • The pericardium is a protective sac that encloses and protects the heart. The pericardium consists of two membranes (visceral pericardium and parietal pericardium), between which there is a fluid-filled cavity. The fluid helps to cushion the heart, and also lubricates its outer surface.

Anatomy and Physiology in Healthcare

Anatomy and Physiology in Healthcare focuses on what healthcare students need to know about the biological principles which underpin the practice of healthcare.

All healthcare students have to study anatomy and physiology. They often find it a challenging subject and struggle to see how the subject will link to their professional practice.


  • By using clinical cases throughout , the book helps the reader grasp the practical relevance of anatomy and physiology to decision-making and care delivery.
  • The clinical cases have been carefully selected to reflect common conditions encountered in practice today, and the changing patterns of disease and healthcare.
  • Clear high-quality full colour illustrations, links to appropriate web-based content, and self-assessment material make this the perfect, practical textbook for all healthcare students

"This textbook presents anatomy and physiology in a fun and interactive way. It is divided into 14 chapters and the way the authors have introduced the information gives it a modern twist. For example, instead of titling a chapter 'The reproductive system', it is called 'From one generation to the next'. . What works particularly well is the way the authors have used case studies that reflect the reality of the changing patterns of health and disease. This book provides a good foundation in clinical application and it seeks to link theory to practice." Nursing Standard 27 September 2017, volume 32 number 5

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University of Lincoln
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Sample Chapters:
To view sample chapters, click on the 'resources' tab above.

  01. Why is the human body the way it is?

1.1 Introduction and clinical relevance

1.2 What you need to know – essential anatomy and physiology

1.2.1 Why the human body is the way it is

1.2.2 Single-celled and multicellular organisms

1.2.3 Homeostasis and homeodynamics

1.2.4 The internal environment and plasma

1.2.5 The homeodynamic process

1.2.6 The homeodynamic regulation of body temperature

1.3 Clinical application

1.4 Anatomical language

1.4.1 General anatomical terms

1.7 Self-assessment questions

02. Cells and their environment

2.1 Introduction and clinical relevance

2.2 What you need to know – essential anatomy and physiology

2.2.1 Types of cell: the diversity of life

2.2.2 Components of a eukaryotic cell

2.2.3 Organization of cells in the body

2.3 Clinical application

2.6 Self-assessment questions

03. Genetics: how cells divide and introduce variation

3.1 Introduction and clinical relevance

3.2 What you need to know – essential anatomy and physiology

3.2.4 Application of genetics to healthcare

3.3 Clinical application

3.6 Self-assessment questions

04. Communication: short and fast

4.1 Introduction and clinical relevance

4.2 What you need to know – essential anatomy and physiology

4.2.1 Characteristics of a biological communication system

4.2.2 The nervous system: structural organization

4.2.4 Functional organization of the nervous system

4.2.5 The generation and propagation of an action potential

4.2.6 The central nervous system: the brain and spinal cord

4.2.7 Neuronal pathways and tracts of the brain and spinal cord

4.2.8 Protection and nourishment of the brain and spinal cord

4.2.9 The peripheral nervous system (cranial nerves and spinal nerves)

4.2.10 The autonomic nervous system

4.3 Clinical application

4.6 Self-assessment questions

05. Communication: long and slow

5.1 Introduction and clinical relevance

5.2 What you need to know – essential anatomy and physiology

5.2.3 Lipid-derivative hormones 

5 .2.4 How hormones exert an effect

5.2.5 Major endocrine glands and tissues

5.3 Clinical application

5.6 Self-assessment questions

06. How the external environment is interpreted

6.1 Introduction and clinical relevance

6.2 What you need to know – essential anatomy and physiology

6.2.1 Sensation and perception

6.3 Clinical application

6.6 Self-assessment questions

07. Why food is needed: the chemical basis of health

7.1 Introduction and clinical relevance

7.2 What you need to know – essential anatomy and physiology

7.2.1 The driving force behind cellular processes and activities

7.2.3 Making nutrients in food available

7.3 Clinical application

7.6 Self-assessment questions

08. The importance of water and electrolytes

8.1 Introduction and clinical relevance

8.2 What you need to know – essential anatomy and physiology

8.2.1 Water and electrolytes

8.2.2 Functions of the kidney

8.3 Clinical application

8.6 Self-assessment questions

09. Organs need to be perfused

9.1 Introduction and clinical relevance

9.2 What you need to know – essential anatomy and physiology

9.2.1 Structure and function of blood vessels

9.2.2 Blood flow and perfusion

9.2.3 The heart: structure and function

9.2.5 Blood composition and function

9.3 Clinical application

9.6 Self-assessment questions

10. The body needs oxygen

10.1 Introduction and clinical relevance

10.2 What you need to know – essential anatomy and physiology

10.2.1 Upper respiratory tract

10.2.2 Lower respiratory tract

10.2.3 Lung tissue and the bronchial tree

10.2.4 Ventilation and the mechanics of breathing

10.2.5 Respiratory volumes and capacities

10.2.6 Exchange and transportation of gases

10.2.7 Regulation of breathing by chemoreceptors

10.3 Clinical application

10.6 Self-assessment questions

11. Protection from harm

11.1 Introduction and clinical relevance

11.2 What you need to know – essential anatomy and physiology

11.2.1 Lymphatic structures support immunity

11.2.2 Innate immunity – physical defences

11.2.3 Recognition of microorganisms by innate immunity

11.2.4 Innate immunity – cellular defences

11.2.5 Innate immunity – humoral defences

11.3 Clinical application

11.6 Self-assessment questions

12. Skin: our protective cover

12.1 Introduction and clinical relevance

12.2 What you need to know – essential anatomy and physiology

12.2.1 Structure of the skin

12.2.2 Factors affecting the skin

12.3 Clinical application

12.6 Self-assessment questions

13. Achieving movement

13.1 Introduction and clinical relevance

13.2 What you need to know – essential anatomy and physiology

13.3 Clinical application

13.6 Self-assessment questions

14. From one generation to the next

14.1 Introduction and clinical relevance

14.2 What you need to know – essential anatomy and physiology

14.2.1 Structure and function of the male reproductive system

14.2.3 Structure and function of the female reproductive system

14.3 Clinical application

14.6 Self-assessment questions

Five-star reviews:

Would recommend "Great read and very helpful for my nursing degree!" Amazon reviewer

Useful "Written by teachers in my uni and therefore recommended for my coursework.
Would recommend if you are a healthcare student doing your biology module!" Amazon reviewer

The following supplementary resources for Anatomy and Physiology in Healthcare are available to download for free.


Diagnosis of Cervical Cancer

Diagnosis of cervical cancer is typically made by looking for microscopic abnormal cervical cells in a smear of cells scraped off the cervix. This is called a Pap smear . If cancerous cells are detected or suspected in the smear, this test is usually followed up with a biopsy to confirm the Pap smear results. Medical imaging (by CT scan or MRI, for example) is also likely to be done to provide more information, such as whether the cancer has spread.


Anatomy of the Female Reproductive System

The external genitalia (the vulva) include two thick folds of tissue called the labia majora and two smaller lips of delicate tissue called the labia minora, which lie within the labia majora. The upper por- tions of the labia minora unite, forming a partial covering for the clitoris, a highly sensitive organ composed of erectile tissue. Be- tween the labia minora, below and posterior to the clitoris, is the urinary meatus. This is the external opening of the female urethra and is about 3 cm (1.5 inches) long. Below this orifice is a larger opening, the vaginal orifice or introitus . On each side of the vaginal orifice is a vestibular (Bartholin’s) gland, a bean-sized structure that empties its mucous secretion through a small duct. The opening of the duct lies within the labia minora, external to the hymen. The area between the vagina and rectum is called the perineum.

Internal Reproductive Structures

The internal structures consist of the vagina, uterus, ovaries, and fallopian or uterine tubes

The vagina, a canal lined with mucous membrane, is 7.5 to 10 cm (3 to 4 inches) long and extends upward and backward from the vulva to the cervix. Anterior to it are the bladder and the urethra, and posterior to it lies the rectum. The anterior and posterior walls of the vagina normally touch each other. The upper part of the vagina, the fornix, surrounds the cervix (the inferior part of the uterus).

UTERUS The uterus, a pear-shaped muscular organ, is about 7.5 cm (3 inches) long and 5 cm (2 inches) wide at its upper part. Its walls are about 1.25 cm (0.5 inch) thick. The size of the uterus varies, depending on parity (number of viable births) and uterine abnormalities (eg, fibroids, which are a type of tumor that may distort the uterus). A nulliparous woman (one who has not completed a pregnancy to the stage of fetal viability) usually has a smaller uterus than a multiparous woman (one who has completed two or more pregnancies to the stage of fetal viability). The uterus lies posterior to the bladder and is held in position by several ligaments. The round ligaments extend anteriorly and later- ally to the internal inguinal ring and down the inguinal canal, where they blend with the tissues of the labia majora. The broad ligaments are folds of peritoneum extending from the lateral pelvic walls and enveloping the fallopian tubes. The uterosacral ligaments extend posteriorly to the sacrum. The uterus has two parts: the cervix, which projects into the vagina, and a larger upper part, the fundus or body, which is covered posteriorly and partly anteriorly by peritoneum. The triangular inner portion of the fundus narrows to a small canal in the cervix that has con- strictions at each end, referred to as the external os and internal os. The upper lateral parts of the uterus are called the cornua. From here, the oviducts or fallopian (or uterine) tubes extend outward, and their lumina are internally continuous with the uterine cavity.

OVARIES The ovaries lie behind the broad ligaments, behind and below the fallopian tubes. They are oval bodies about 3 cm (1.2 inches) long. At birth, they contain thousands of tiny egg cells, or ova. The ovaries and the fallopian tubes together are referred to as the adnexa.

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. MAJOR PARTS OF OB/GYN The female reproductive system is designed to carry out several functions. It produces the female egg cells necessary for reproduction, called the ova or oocytes. The system is designed to transport the ova to the site of fertilization.the fertilization of an egg by a sperm, normally occurs in the fallopian tubes. The next step for the egg is to implant into the walls of the uterus, beginning the initial stages of pregnancy. If fertilization and/or implantation does not take place, the system is designed to menstruate (the monthly shedding of the uterine lining). In addition, the female reproductive system produces female sex hormones that maintain the reproductive cycle. What Parts Make up the Female Anatomy? The female reproductive anatomy includes parts inside and outside the body. The function of the external female reproductive structures (the genitals) is twofold: To enable sperm to enter the body and to protect the internal genital organs from infectious organisms. The main external structures of the female reproductive system include: • Labia majora: enclose and protect the other external reproductive organs. translated as "large lips," are relatively large and fleshy, and are comparable to the scrotum in males. It contain sweat and oil-secreting glands. After puberty, the labia majora are covered with hair. • Labia minora: translated as "small lips," can be very small or up to 2 inches wide. They lie just inside the labia.

Case Study Nsvd

. POST – PARTUM COMPLICATIONS The postpartum period is the time immediately after a woman delivers her baby. It is the time when the mother's body is changing back to the non-pregnant state. It lasts approximately 6 weeks or until the reproductive organs return to normal size. During the postpartum period, a woman can expect a variety of symptoms ranging from physical discomfort to emotional upsets. Feeling overwhelmed with the responsibility of caring for an infant is a normal postpartum symptom. Other emotions may include sadness, feeling helpless, and a "let down" feeling. Discomfort in the perineum (area between the rectum and vagina) is expected and may cause difficulty with sitting or walking. It is common for the breasts to be swollen and painful. The new mother may feel tired, experience hot flashes and sweating, and may be constipated. A woman may also have a reduced interest in sex for up to 6 months after childbirth. All these symptoms are normal, a temporary reaction to childbirth. II. GENERAL DATA Hospital: Bicol Regional Training And Teaching Hospital (BRTTH) Ward: Ob Ward Patients Name: Mahilum, Joaniel Marie Address: Basud, Guinobatan Albay Age: 20 years old Sex: Female Civil Status: Single Date of Admission: January 15, 2012 – 07:30am Admitting Physician: Karen P. Diaz M.D. Attending Physician: Dr. Torella LMP: April 16, 2011 Admission Diagnosis: PU , 39 Weeks AOG, CIL.

Anatomy

. PH 104: ANATOMY I/IV FIRST YEAR FIRST SEMESTER Introduction: Anatomy is a basic science subject dealing with the knowledge of the structure of the human body in health. Mastery of the subject lays a foundation for understanding other basic science subjects, and clinical subjects in subsequent years. The pharmacy anatomy course consists of a single module of lectures and seminars. Objectives: At the end of the course the students should be able to:- Describe the structure of the human body as seen by the naked eye in health. Identify different parts of the human body. Use medical/anatomical terminology. Describe physiological processes in health and disease using the anatomy terms. Describe the processes involved in the development of the human body. Describe congenital malformations and how they come about and the times when drugs can have teratological effect. UNIT I Introduction to Anatomy: Components of Anatomy, Methods for learning Anatomy, Anatomical terminology Introduction to Cell Biology and Medical Genetics, General introduction to tissues of the body, Epithelial tissue, Connective tissue UNIT II Human skeletal system: Types of bone, Histology of bone, Individual bones, Human Anatomy of major joints, Applied anatomy Human Muscular system: Histology of muscle tissue, Organization of different type of muscle, skeletal muscles UNIT III Human Alimentary system: Components and general organization Gross anatomy, Histology of different components.

. 28 Nov. 2014]. LiveScience.com Reproductive System: Facts, Functions and Diseases In-text: (LiveScience.com, 2014) Bibliography: LiveScience.com, (2014). Reproductive System: Facts, Functions and Diseases. [online] Available at: http://www.livescience.com/26741-reproductive-system.html [Accessed 28 Nov. 2014]. Webmd.com The Male Reproductive System: Organs, Function, and More In-text: (Webmd.com, 2014) Bibliography: Webmd.com, (2014). The Male Reproductive System: Organs, Function, and More. [online] Available at: http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/guide/male-reproductive-system?page=2 [Accessed 28 Nov. 2014]. BBC - KS3 Bitesize Science - Reproduction : Revision, Page 3 In-text: (Bbc.co.uk, 2014) Bibliography: Bbc.co.uk, (2014). BBC - KS3 Bitesize Science - Reproduction : Revision, Page 3. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks3/science/organisms_beha iour_health/reproduction/revision/3/ [Accessed 30 Nov. 2014]. INNERBODY Urinary System In-text: (InnerBody, 2014) Bibliography: InnerBody, (2014). Urinary System. [online] Available at: http://www.inne body.com/image/urinov.html [Accessed 30 Nov. 2014]. INNERBODY Cervix of Uterus In-text: (InnerBody, 2014) Bibliography: InnerBody, (2014). Cervix of Uterus. [online] Available at: http://www.in body.com/image_repfov/repo37-new.html#full-description [Accessed 30 Nov. 2014]. INNERBODY Endocrine System In-text: (InnerBody.

Anatomy Intro

. Lewis: Human Anatomy and Physiology, 12th ed. Chapter 1: Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology Chapter 1: Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology I. Introduction A. The interests of our earliest ancestors most likely concerned injuries and illness because healthy bodies demand little attention from their owners. B. Primitive people certainly suffered from occasional aches and pains, injuries, bleeding, broken bones, and diseases. C. Before agriculture, infectious diseases did not spread easily because isolated bands of people had little contact with each other. D. With agriculture, humans became susceptible to worm diseases because excrement was used in fertilizers and less reliance was placed on wild plants that offered their protective substances. E. With urbanization, humans became more susceptible to infectious diseases and malnutrition. F. Tooth decay was lowest among hunter-gathers and highest among city residents. G. Preserved bones from children can reflect malnutrition because when a child starves or suffers from severe infection, the ends of the bones stop growing. When health returns, growth resumes, but leaves behind areas of dense bone. H. At first healers had to rely on superstitions and notions about magic. I. The forerunners of modern drugs were herbs and potions. J. Early medical providers developed the language of anatomy and physiology from Greek and Latin. II. Anatomy and Physiology A. Anatomy is the.

Female Reproductive System Research Paper

. Disorders Anatomy of the Female reproductive system The anatomy of the female reproductive system has been shown in following diagram. For better understanding of diseases described in this chapter, it is vital to acquire knowledge of the reproductive system. Fig: Anatomy of the female reproductive system The female reproductive system consists of following structures: 1. Vulva: It constitutes the external sex organ. 2. Vagina. It is fibro-muscular tube attached to the cervix above and continuous with the vulva below. The vaginal secretion is in negligible amount in healthy state of the body. The pH of the vagina is about 4.5 and it is due to presence of lactic acid. Urethra lies in front of vagina.

Reproductive Organs

. Essay: Male and Female Reproductive System Do you know how you were born? Do you know how you came to be? The reproductive system is the system that made that all possible. Without the reproductive system you wouldn’t have been born. In order to produce offspring, the male and female reproductive systems have to be different. Each system has different parts, problems and care. Each system have different purposes, the male reproductive system’s function is to produce sperm, while the female reproductive system’s function is to produce ova, store ova and house a fertilized egg. The male reproductive system is divided into two categories: internal and external reproductive organs. External organs are outside the body and internal organs are inside the body. The external reproductive organs are the penis, testes, scrotum, epididymis, and somniferous tubules, which are in the testes. The penis allows liquid waste and semen to leave the body. The testes, which are comprised of somniferous tubules, produce sperm. Sperm mixes with seminal fluids to produce semen. Semen is released through the penis and sperm in the seminal fluid has the ability to fertilize an egg. The scrotum protects and holds the testes and epididymis. The epididymis stores sperm. It also allows them to mature The internal reproductive organs are the vas deferens, seminal vesicles, Cowper’s gland, and the prostate gland. The vas deferens extends from each epididymis. They allow the sperm to leave the.

Paper of Nada

. BIOL-182 Reproductive System Dr. Shawn B. Wild I. INTRODUCTION A. Gonads B. Gametes 1. sperm * * head * acrosomal cap (acrosome) * middle piece * tail 2. ovum * oocyte ovum after fertilization 3. meiosis spermatogonia sperm oogonia ovum 4. fertilization 5. zygote II. Male Reproductive System A. Testes 1. spermatic cord * * ductus deferens * deferential artery * testicular artery * testicular vein * nerve -inguinal canal -inguinal hernias 2. Scrotum * tunica vaginalis * dartos muscle * cremaster muscle 3. Structure of the testes a. tunica vaginalis b. tunica albuginea c. lobules d. seminiferous tubules e. straight tubules f. rete testis g. efferent ductule * epididymis h. interstitial cells – Leydig cells i. sustentacular cells – Sertoli cells 4. Spermatogenesis * spermatogonia * 1 spermatocytes * 2 spermatocytes * spermatids * spermiogenesis * spermatozoa B. Male Reproductive tract 1. epididymis (1) (2) (3) 2. ductus deferens 3. urethra * prostatic * membranous * penile C. Accessory Glands 1. functions 2. seminal vesicles 3. prostate gland 4. bulbourethral glands D. Semen 1. sperm count – 20-100 million/cubic milliliter 2. seminal fluid – fluid component of.

. ATLANTA TECHNICAL COLLEGE ACADEMIC AND LEARNING SUPPORT SERVICES Program of Study: General Education BIO 2114 Anatomy and Physiology II This course syllabus is designed to assure students high academic success. It provides relevant information, outlines the course objectives, performance objectives, varied teaching methods that will be used, evaluation criteria for the course and work ethics, warranty claims, available student support services, expected accomplishments, and specific timelines. INSTITUTIONAL MISSION: Atlanta Technical College, a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, located in the city of Atlanta, is an accredited institution of higher education that provides affordable lifelong learning opportunities, associate degrees, diplomas, technical certificates of credit, customized business and industry training, continuing education and other learning services using state-of-the-art technology. The integration of academics and applied career preparation to enhance student learning is essential in meeting the workforce demands and economic development needs of the people, businesses, and communities of Fulton County. Course Title: Anatomy and Physiology II Course Code Number: BIO 2114 Prerequisites: BIO 2113 Contact Hours: 70 Includes: Class Hours: 4 D. Lab Hours: 3 Credit Hours: 5 Instructor's Name: Barry N. Bates Office Room Number: 2107 Office Phone Number.

Why Can't I Say What I Want?

. Anatomy and Physiology 1-1 Explain the importance of studying anatomy and physiology. Studying anatomy and physiology is important because knowing how normal physiology helps you recognize when something goes wrong with the body. 1-2 Define anatomy and physiology, describe the origins of anatomical and physiological terms, and explain the significance of Terminologia Anatomica (International Anatomical Terminology). Anatomy is the study of internal and external body structures. Physiology is the study of how living organisms perform functions. There are four basic building blocks of anatomical and physiological terms. Word roots, prefixes, suffixes, and combining forms. Terminologia Anatomica serves as a worldwide official standard of anatomical vocabulary. So people all over the world can have the same anatomical terms. 1-3 Explain the relationship between anatomy and physiology, and describe various specialties of each discipline. All specific functions are performed by different structures. Meaning the way a body part is made up (anatomy) gives clues on how that body part will function (physiology). Specialties in gross anatomy is surface anatomy, regional anatomy, systemic anatomy, clinical anatomy, and developmental anatomy. Specialties in physiology is cell physiology, organ physiology, systemic physiology and pathological physiology. 1-4 Identify the major levels of organization in organisms, from the simplest to the most complex.

Seven Organizational Approaches Paper

. Carla Paula Tantay May 24, 2015 HCA/220 Seven Organizational Approaches Paper Instructor: Terrasha Rachels There are 7 organizational approaches to studying the human body. The seven organizational approaches consist of planes and directions, body cavities, quadrants and regions, anatomy and physiology, microscopic and macroscopic, body systems and medical specialties. The body planes and body direction is the division of the body in to sections from front to back, right and left, and top and bottom. These sections are called the mid sagittal plane, the coronal plane, and the transverse plane. There are two main cavities “Dorsal and ventral body cavities”. Based on Bite Anti Body Research, Some anatomical references do not recognize the dorsal body cavity but we will use it in this example because it is use by some professionals and colleges. Dorsal body cavity protects organs in our nervous system and dorsal body cavity has 2 divisions which is cranial which works around the brains and spinal which works around the spinal cord. With Ventral the superior division is called the thoracic cavity. The thoracic cavity is surrounded by the ribs and muscles in the chest. It’s further subdivided into lateral pleural cavities (each pleural cavity envelopes a lung) and the mediastinum. Within The pericardial cavity lies within the mediastinum. Quadrants are divides our bodies into regions for diagnostic and descriptive purposes. The quadrants are defined by drawing an.

Human Reproduction

. is the creation of offspring – By the fusion of male and female gametes to form a zygote Mechanisms of Asexual Reproduction • Many invertebrates reproduce asexually by fission – The separation of a parent into two or more individuals of approximately the same size Mechanisms of Asexual Reproduction • Budding – In which two new individuals arise from outgrowths of existing ones • A two-step process – Fragmentation • The breaking of the body into several pieces, some or all of which develop into complete adults – Regeneration • Follows fragmentation • the regrowth of lost body parts • Some animals reproduce by parthenogenesis – A process in which an egg develops without being fertilized • Among vertebrates, several genera of fishes, amphibians, and lizards, including whiptail lizards – Reproduce exclusively by a complex form of parthenogenesis Ovary size (a) Both lizards in this photograph are C. uniparens females. The one on top is playing the role of a male. Every two or three weeks during the breeding season, individuals switch sex roles. Hormones Ovulation Estrogen Ovulation Progesterone Behavior Time Femalelike Malelike Femalelike Malelike (b) The sexual behavior of C. uniparens is correlated with the cycle of ovulation mediated by sex hormones. As blood levels of estrogen rise, the ovaries grow, and the lizard behaves like a female. After ovulation, the estrogen level drops abruptly.

The Sperm and the Egg

. seminal plasma is then left in the vagina following ejaculation, and the sperm continues its journey. The protected sperm starts to travel through the layers of cervical mucus that guard the entrance to the uterus. This is easier for the sperm during ovulation because the barrier becomes thinner and changes its acidity levels. This in turns creates a friendlier environment for the sperm. The cervical mucus in turn also acts as a reservoir for extended sperm survival while traveling to the uterus. Once the sperm has entered the uterus through the cervical mucus the woman’s contractions, propel the sperm further upward into the fallopian tubes. This complex path all occurs within minutes after ejaculation has occurred. The male external reproductive organs include the penis: A tubular muscular organ that fills with blood during arousal, which in turn makes sexual intercourse possible. The scrotum: Or pouch-like sac hangs below the penis and encases the testicles. And the testicles: Which are two oval-shaped organs that produce sperm.


Anatomy & Physiology I

Explore the characteristics of life and how the body works to maintain stable conditions. Get introduced to a set of standard terms for body structures and for planes and positions in the body. Look at examples of medical imaging used to see inside the living body.

1.1 Overview of Anatomy and Physiology
1.2 Functions of Human Life
1.3 Anatomical Terminology
1.4 Medical Imaging

The structure of atoms, the basic units of matter, determines the characteristics of chemical elements. Life cannot exist without many of these elements contribute to chemical reactions, to the transformation of energy, and to electrical activity and muscle contraction.

2.1 The Substance of the Universe
2.2 Chemical Reactions
2.3 Carbon, Organic and Inorganic Compounds

The body contains at least 200 distinct cell types. The cells represent the basic unit of life. These cells contain essentially the same internal structures yet they vary enormously in shape and function. These tiny fluid-filled sacs house components responsible for the thousands of biochemical reactions necessary for an organism to grow and survive. Learn about the major components and functions of a prototypical, generalized cell and discover some of the different types of cells in the human body.

3.1 The Cell Membrane
3.2 The Nucleus and DNA Replication
3.3 Cell Cycle and Growth

The different types of cells are not randomly distributed throughout the body rather they occur in organized layers, a level of organization referred to as tissue. The variety in shape reflects the many different roles that cells fulfill in your body. The human body starts as a single cell at fertilization. As this fertilized egg divides, it gives rise to trillions of cells, each built from the same blueprint, but organizing into tissues and becoming irreversibly committed to a developmental pathway.

4.1 Tissues
4.2 Connective and Muscle Tissue
4.3 Nervous Tissue, Tissue Injury and Ageing

Explore the integumentary system – the skin and its accessory structures. The skin protects your inner organs and it is in need of daily care and protection to maintain its health. Get introduced to the integumentary system and some of the diseases, disorders, and injuries that can affect it.

5.1 The Nature of Skin
5.2 The Hair, Nails and Glands
5.3 Functions of The Integumentary System
5.4 Diseases, Disorders and Injuries of The Skin

Your skeleton is a structure of living tissue that grows, repairs, and renews itself. The bones within it are dynamic and complex organs that serve a number of important functions. While the soft tissue of a once living organism will decay and fall away over time, bone tissue will undergo a process of mineralization, effectively turning the bone to stone.

6.1 The Skeletal System
6.2 The Bones of The Body
6.3 The Anatomy of Bone
6.4 Ossification of The Bone
6.5 The Effect of Aging on Bones

The skeletal system forms the rigid internal framework of the body. It consists of the bones, cartilages, and ligaments. Bones support the weight of the body, allow for body movements, and protect internal organs. Each bone of the body serves a particular function, and therefore bones vary in size, shape, and strength based on these functions. The adult axial skeleton consists of 80 bones that form the head and body trunk.

7.1 Divisions of The Skeletal System
7.2 The Anatomy of The Skull
7.3 Anatomy of The Vertebral Column
7.4 The Anatomy of The Thoracic Cage
7.5 The Embryonic Development of The Axial Skeleton

Your skeleton provides the internal supporting structure of the body. Attached to this are the limbs, whose 126 bones constitute the appendicular skeleton. Because of our upright stance, different functional demands are placed upon the upper and lower limbs. The bones of the lower limbs are adapted for weight-bearing support and stability. The upper limbs are highly mobile and can be utilized for a wide variety of activities.

8.1 The Bones and Composition of The Pectoral Girdle
8.2 Disorders of The Appendicular System
8.3 The Structure and Function of The Pelvic Girdle
8.4 The Bones of the Lower Limb
8.5 Ossification of The Appendicular Bones

Joints are the location where bones come together. Many joints allow for movement between the bones. At these joints, the articulating surfaces of the adjacent bones can move smoothly against each other. However, the bones of other joints may be joined to each other by connective tissue or cartilage. These joints are designed for stability and provide for little or no movement. Understanding the relationship between joint structure and function will help to explain why particular types of joints are found in certain areas of the body.

9.1 The Nature of Joints
9.2 Fibrous, Cartilaginous, Synovial Joints
9.3 Types of Body Movement
9.4 Articulations of the Vertebral Column
9.5 Knees, Ankles, and Development of Joints

Examine the structure and function of three types of muscles: the skeletal muscles, the cardiac muscle, and the smooth muscle. Skeletal muscles are visible just under the skin, particularly of the limbs. Cardiac muscle, found in the heart, is pumping blood through the circulatory system. Smooth muscle is concerned with various involuntary movements, such as having one’s hair stand on end when cold or frightened, or moving food through the digestive system.

10.1 Skeletal Muscle
10.2 Muscle Contraction and Relaxation
10.3 Motor Units and Muscle Fiber
10.4 Muscle Performance and Regeneration

Physical activities require movement of particular skeletal muscles. In some cases, the muscle is named by its shape, and in other cases, it is named by its location or attachments to the skeleton. The actions of the skeletal muscles are covered in a regional manner, from the head down to the toes.

11.1 Skeletal Muscles and Fascicle Arrangement
11.2 Axial Muscles of the Head, Neck and Back
11.3 Axial Muscles of The Abdominal Wall and Thorax
11.4 Muscles of The Pectoral Girdle and Upper Limbs

The nervous system is a very complex organ system. Start with a big picture and then explore nervous (neural) tissue, both its structure and its function.

12.1 Overview of The Nervous System
12.2 Neurons and Neurotransmission

The nervous system is responsible for controlling much of the body, both through somatic (voluntary) and autonomic (involuntary) functions. The structures of the nervous system must be described in detail to understand how many of these functions are possible.

13.1 The Embryonic Nervous System
13.2 The Central Nervous System
13.3 Circulation and The Central Nervous System
13.4 The Peripheral Nervous System

The somatic nervous system is traditionally considered a division within the peripheral nervous system. Somatic refers to a functional division, whereas peripheral refers to an anatomic division.

The somatic nervous system is responsible for our conscious perception of the environment and for our voluntary responses to that perception by means of skeletal muscles. Peripheral sensory neurons receive input from environmental stimuli, but the neurons that produce motor responses originate in the central nervous system.

14.1 The Different Senses
14.2 The Spinal Cord and Central Processing
14.3 Responses and Reflexes

The autonomic nervous system is about responding to threats – the fight-or-flight response. Also, there are the responses referred to as “rest and digest.” The heart rate will slow. Breathing will return to normal. The digestive system has a big job to do. Much of the function of the autonomic system is based on the connections within an autonomic, or visceral, reflex.

15.1 The Divisions of The Autonomic Nervous System
15.2 The Nature of Reflexes
15.3 The Central Control of The Nervous System
15.4 Things That Impact on The Autonomic Nervous System


Uterus and Cervix

The uterus is the muscular organ that nourishes and supports the growing embryo (Figure 23.3.7). Its average size is approximately 5 cm wide by 7 cm long (approximately 2 in by 3 in) when a female is not pregnant. It has three sections. The portion of the uterus superior to the opening of the uterine tubes is called the fundus . The middle section of the uterus is called the body of uterus (or corpus). The cervix is the narrow inferior portion of the uterus that projects into the vagina. The cervix produces mucus secretions that become thin and stringy under the influence of high systemic plasma estrogen concentrations, and these secretions can facilitate sperm movement through the reproductive tract.

Several ligaments maintain the position of the uterus within the abdominopelvic cavity. The broad ligament is a fold of peritoneum that serves as a primary support for the uterus, extending laterally from both sides of the uterus and attaching it to the pelvic wall (Figure 23.3.3). The round ligament attaches to the uterus near the uterine tubes, and extends to the labia majora. Finally, the uterosacral ligament stabilizes the uterus posteriorly by its connection from the cervix to the pelvic wall.

The wall of the uterus is made up of three layers. The most superficial layer is the serous membrane, or perimetrium , which consists of epithelial tissue that covers the exterior portion of the uterus. The middle layer, or myometrium , is a thick layer of smooth muscle responsible for uterine contractions. Most of the uterus is myometrial tissue, and the muscle fibers run horizontally, vertically, and diagonally, allowing the powerful contractions that occur during labor and the less powerful contractions (or cramps) that help to expel menstrual blood during a woman&rsquos period. Anteriorly directed myometrial contractions also occur near the time of ovulation, and are thought to possibly facilitate the transport of sperm through the female reproductive tract.

The innermost layer of the uterus is called the endometrium . The endometrium contains a connective tissue lining, the lamina propria, which is covered by epithelial tissue that lines the lumen. Structurally, the endometrium consists of two layers: the stratum basalis and the stratum functionalis (the basal and functional layers). The stratum basalis layer is part of the lamina propria and is adjacent to the myometrium this layer does not shed during menses. In contrast, the thicker stratum functionalis layer contains the glandular portion of the lamina propria and the endothelial tissue that lines the uterine lumen. It is the stratum functionalis that grows and thickens in response to increased levels of estrogen and progesterone. In the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, special branches off of the uterine artery called spiral arteries supply the thickened stratum functionalis. This inner functional layer provides the proper site of implantation for the fertilized egg, and&mdashshould fertilization not occur&mdashit is only the stratum functionalis layer of the endometrium that sheds during menstruation.

Recall that during the follicular phase of the ovarian cycle, the tertiary follicles are growing and secreting estrogen. At the same time, the stratum functionalis of the endometrium is thickening to prepare for a potential implantation. The post-ovulatory increase in progesterone, which characterizes the luteal phase, is key for maintaining a thick stratum functionalis. As long as a functional corpus luteum is present in the ovary, the endometrial lining is prepared for implantation. Indeed, if an embryo implants, signals are sent to the corpus luteum to continue secreting progesterone to maintain the endometrium, and thus maintain the pregnancy. If an embryo does not implant, no signal is sent to the corpus luteum and it degrades, ceasing progesterone production and ending the luteal phase. Without progesterone, the endometrium thins and, under the influence of prostaglandins, the spiral arteries of the endometrium constrict and rupture, preventing oxygenated blood from reaching the endometrial tissue. As a result, endometrial tissue dies and blood, pieces of the endometrial tissue, and white blood cells are shed through the vagina during menstruation, or the menses . The first menses after puberty, called menarche , can occur either before or after the first ovulation.


Instructor: Dr. Clare Hays, SI 2032 303-615-0777, e-mail – [email protected] , URL http://sites.msudenver.edu/haysc

2.Required: Your lab manual needs to come to lab with you: Human Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory Manual, 12th Ed.,Elaine N. Marieb

  1. Optional: Dissection Guide and Atlas to the Mink, by David Smith and Michael Schenk, Morton Publishing

4. Required: BIO 2310 Dissecting Tools. Available in bookstore includes a scalpel with replaceable blades, a blunt probe, and small scissors

5. Not required, but strongly recommended, is a lab coat or an old shirt to protect your clothing. Respirators with filters and eye goggles are available upon request.

Upon completion of lab exercises, you should review the material and do the review sheets from your lab manual, as there are no open lab hours. Lab exams are NOT comprehensive.

MASTERINGAANDP.COM: Your lab manual has some excellent resources for both lecture and lab. These resources and the access code are described at the beginning of your lab manual. You will need to complete a registration process to use this site by clicking you are a student. Then, click Register for Self-Study Access Only and “Mastering is not required for my course.” Enter your access code and click on your book. Go to the Study Area, especially note the PAL section on anatomy.

AUGUST 24,26 – HISTOLOGY

Exercise 3: Review the use and care of the microscope.

Exercise 6: Observe the following tissue types:

  1. Identify: Simple squamous epithelium and Simple cuboidal epithelium on your kidney slide.
  2. Identify: Simple columnar epithelium on your stomach or jejunum (small intestine) slide.
  3. Identify: Stratified squamous epithelium on your palatine tonsil slide.
  4. Identify: Transitional epithelium on your urinary bladder slide or on a slide from your instructor.
  5. Identify: Pseudostratified columnar epithelium on your trachea slide or on a slide from your instructor. Note the cilia.

Connective tissue

  1. Identify: Areolar (loose) connective tissue.
  2. Identify: Adipose tissue.
  3. Identify: Dense (fibrous) regular connective tissue (slide says “white fibrous connective tissue”).
  4. Identify: Hyaline cartilage.
  5. Identify: Bone on your compact bone slide.

Nervous tissue

  1. Identify: Nervous tissue on your cerebral cortex slide or on a multipolar neuron slide from your instructor.

Muscle tissue

AUGUST 31,SEPTEMBER 2, 7,9,14,16 – SKELETAL SYSTEM (ANATOMY)

Recommended time schedule: Week 2 – Through the skull Week 3 – through the upper extremity Week 4 – finish and review.

Exercise 8: Please refer to Table 8.1 in lab manual as needed for bony features definitions.

Exercise 9: AXIAL SKELETON – You are responsible for the following:

AXIAL SKELETON: SKULL

CRANIAL BONES: (Note: Terms in all capital letters are the bones and terms following them are features on that bone.)

FRONTAL (1), Supraorbital foramen (or notch), Glabella, PARIETAL (2), Sagittal suture, Coronal suture, TEMPORAL (2), Squamous suture, Zygomatic process, Mandibular fossa, External auditory (=acoustic) meatus (=canal), Styloid process, Mastoid process, Stylomastoid foramen, Jugular foramen, Carotid canal, Internal auditory (=acoustic) meatus (=canal), OCCIPITAL (1), Lambdoid suture, Foramen magnum, Occipital condyles, Hypoglossal canal, External occipital crest and protuberance, SPHENOID (1), Greater wings, Superior orbital fissures, Sella turcica, Lesser wings, Optic foramina or canals, Foramen rotundum, Foramen ovale, Foramen lacerum, Foramen spinosum, ETHMOID (1), Crista galli, Cribriform plates with olfactory (=cribriform) foramina, Perpendicular plate, Superior and middle nasal conchae (These nasal conchae, along with inferior nasal conchae make up the “turbinates.”).

MANDIBLE (1), Body, Rami (sing. ramus), Mandibular condyle, Coronoid process, Angle, Mental foramina, Mandibular foramen, Alveolar processes or margins, Mandibular symphysis, MAXILLA (2), Alveolar processes or margins, Palatine processes, Infraorbital foramen, PALATINE (2), ZYGOMATIC (2), LACRIMAL (2), Nasolacrimal canals for ducts, NASAL (2), VOMER (1), INFERIOR NASAL CONCHAE (2).

Frontal sinus, Ethmoidal sinuses, Sphenoidal sinus, Maxillary sinus.

Observe the fontanels (soft spots) on the fetal skeleton.

AXIAL SKELETON: VERTEBRAE, STERNUM and RIBS:

TYPICAL VERTEBRA, Body, Vertebral arch, Vertebral foramen, Transverse processes, Spinous process, Superior and inferior articular processes with smooth articular surfaces called facets, Intervertebral foramina, intervertebral discs.

CERVICAL VERTEBRAE (7), atlas, axis, odontoid process (= dens), THORACIC VERTEBRAE (12), LUMBAR VERTEBRAE (5), SACRUM (5 fused sacral vertebrae), COCCYX (3-5 fused).

STERNUM, Manubrium, Body, Xiphoid process, Jugular notch, Sternal angle.

RIBS, Head, Tubercle, Costal cartilage.

Exercise 10: APPENDICULAR SKELETON – You are responsible for the following:

APPENDICULAR SKELETON: PECTORAL GIRDLE

CLAVICLE, SCAPULA, Acromion process, Coracoid process, Glenoid fossa [cavity], Scapular spine, Supraspinous fossa, Infraspinous fossa, Subscapular fossa.

APPENDICULAR SKELETON: PECTORAL APPENDAGE

HUMERUS, Head, Shaft, Greater and lesser tubercles, Intertubercular (=bicipital) groove, Deltoid tuberosity, Trochlea, Capitulum, Medial and lateral epicondyles, Coronoid fossa, Olecranon fossa, RADIUS, Head, Radial tuberosity, Styloid process, ULNA, Coronoid process, Olecranon (process), Semilunar (=trochlear) notch, Styloid process, CARPAL BONES (8), METACARPALS (I-V), PHALANGES (Proximal, Middle, Distal).

APPENDICULAR SKELETON: PELVIC GIRDLE

OS COXA (Coxal bone when 3 parts are fused), ILIUM, Sacroiliac joint, Iliac crest, Anterior superior spine, Posterior superior spine, Anterior inferior spine, Posterior inferior iliac spine, Iliac fossa, ISCHIUM, Ischial tuberosity, Lesser and greater sciatic notches, Ischial ramus, PUBIS, Obturator foramen, Pubic symphysis, Pubic ramus, Acetabulum.

APPENDICULAR SKELETON: PELVIC APPENDAGE

FEMUR, Head, Greater and lesser trochanters, Lateral and medial condyles, Lateral and medial epicondyles, Gluteal tuberosity, Linea aspera, PATELLA, TIBIA, Medial and lateral condyles, Tibial tuberosity, Medial malleolus, FIBULA, Lateral malleolus, TARSAL BONES (7), Calcaneus, Talus, METATARSALS (I-V), PHALANGES (Proximal, Middle, Distal).

SEPTEMBER 21,23 – EXAM ONE at 1:30 The exam will take about 30 minutes, and consists of 25 stations/questions and one minute per station. You cannot return to any stations. Spelling does not have to exact, but must be very close.

SEPTEMBER 28,30, OCTOBER 5,7,12,14 – MUSCULAR SYSTEM (ANATOMY)

Exercise 1: Glance at Figure 1.2 to understand anatomic terminology of the quadriped (mink). Alternately, glance at page 2 in a copy of the Mink Lab Manual to understand anatomic terminology of the quadriped (mink). Mink muscles are in Chapter 3.

Review Exercise 6 in the Marieb Lab Manual for microscopic skeletal muscle tissue and Figure 14.3 for three parts of the muscle twitch (latent, contraction & relaxation). Human muscles are in Exercise 13.

Useful youtube mink dissection videos:

https://youtu.be/Ri2O3MbPGtM (starting your dissection, fat and fascia removal)

Recommended time schedule: Week 6 – Review a microscope slide of skeletal muscle tissue. Then, dissect mink at least through infraspinatus on the list that follows Week 7 – Try to finish mink muscles so that you can review the following week Week 8 – Review mink muscles, human model muscles and review the muscle twitch.

Mink Dissection: There are enough mink so that every 3-4 people
may have one mink. The mink may not leave the laboratory room! Dissect as described by your instructor and with the help of the dissection photographs provided. Put your mink away as described by your instructor when your dissection is complete. Clean your working area thoroughly.

Why do we dissect? With all of the great technology tools, like 3-d imaging, why do we dissect in lab? The physical act of dissection is an extremely effective learning tool in contrast with “virtual dissections” available in computer programs. Dissection is the best way to provide a tactile sense of body tissues. In fact the word “anatomy” comes from Greek “to dissect” or “cut up.” Currently, even with virtual reality headsets, nothing can reproduce the learning of anatomy through your actual tactile sense (in addition to other senses). This experience will help you touch, visualize, and separate tissues in order to learn them. Most A&P students are pursuing careers in healthcare. At some point, this experience in dissection will help in the diagnosis and/or treatment of your patients. For example, it is how we know that muscle won’t hold stitches well but tendons will. Or, if you are a first responder at a car wreck at night, you may only have your sense of touch to immediately decide what to do.
Why do we dissect mink? Although many students are excited about the dissections, there are still several questions that arise when it comes to the animals. There are several reasons why this choice of dissection animal has been made. We do not have the space, money, nor supply of human cadavers to dissect. MSU Denver offers an upper division anatomy course to dissect a human cadaver, called Advanced Human Cadaver Anatomy. We dissect mink in A&P because once you understand that a mink’s anatomical position is on all four feet, their anatomy is very similar to that of humans. After you learn the structures on the mink, we offer cadaver “tours” towards the end of the semester, to make that transition to the human anatomy. The question of the ethics of using animals for medical science dissection and learning can and should be raised. The mink are farm-raised for their fur. Following euthanasia, their bodies are simply discarded, as they are of no use to the farmer. We purchase the bodies, so that students may at least benefit from studying their anatomy.

You are responsible for the following mink structures:

Neck, Chest and Abdominal Muscles: Mylohyoid, Digastric, Masseter, Pectoralis major, Pectoralis minor, Rectus abdominis, Linea alba, External oblique, Internal oblique, Transversus abdominis.

Mink dissection photographs of Neck, Chest, Abdomen: Neck and torso-site 4

Shoulder and Arm Muscles: Trapezius group (note: “group” means that you do not have to use the prefixes of clavo-, spino-, acromio-), Levator scapulae ventralis, Deltoid group, Latissimus dorsi, Serratus ventralis (=anterior), Subscapularis, Splenius, Rhomboid group (you do not need to distinguish thoracic, cervical or capitis parts of rhomboideus), Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus.Triceps brachii (lateral, medial, long head), Brachialis, Dorsoepitrochlearis (usually not separate from latissimus dorsi in humans and therefore usually not present in humans), Biceps brachii.

Mink dissection photographs of Shoulder and Arm: Mink muscles arm

Hip and Thigh Muscles: Fascia latae and Tensor fasciae latae, Gluteus medius, Gluteus maximus (superficial but small in mink), Hamstrings including: a. Biceps femoris, b. Semitendinosus, c. Semimembranosus, Sartorius, Quadriceps femoris including: a.Vastus medialis, b. Rectus femoris, c. Vastus lateralis, d. Vastus intermedius (directly deep to rectus femoris), Gracilis, Adductor femoris (=Adductor magnus and brevis in humans), Adductor longus, Gastrocnemius.

Mink dissection photographs of Hip and Thigh: Mink anatomy leg 2310-site 3

Human Model Arm Muscles: Deltoid, Subscapularis, Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Biceps brachii, Brachialis, Triceps brachii (lateral, medial and long heads),Wrist and Digit Extensors, Wrist and Digit Flexors.

Human Model Leg Muscles: Gluteus maximus, Tensor Fasciae Latae, Sartorius, Gracilis, Quadriceps femoris (3/4 heads: Rectus femoris, Vastus Lateralis, Vastus Medialis), Hamstrings (Biceps femoris, Semitendinosus, Semimembranosus), Gastrocnemius, Tibialis anterior.

OCTOBER 19,21 – EXAM TWO at 1:30 The muscle exam will take about 30 minutes, and consists of 25 stations/questions and one minute per station. Both mink specimens and human models will be used on the exam. You cannot return to any stations. Spelling does not have to exact, but must be very close.

OCTOBER 26,28 –MUSCULAR ANATOMY and PHYSIOLOGY (OR PHYSIOGRIP COMPUTERIZED EXPERIMENT)

Use this time to complete the review sheet assignment which consists of completing 1. the Review Sheet in your abbreviated Marieb Laboratory Manual “Exercise 13 Review Sheet: Gross Anatomy of the Muscular System” found here: (Review Sheet Muscles ) PLUS 2. the review sheet on Skeletal Muscle Physiology found here: (Skeletal Muscle Review Sheet) You may do these review sheets at home. The two review exercises are due on your very next lab period when we dissect the brain. You may hand these in to me during lab, or scan/photograph them and submit them electronically. You will lose 5 points per day that they are submitted late. 10 points are possible for complete and accurate answers of each review exercise for a total of 20 points.

NOVEMBER 2,4 – ANATOMY OF THE BRAIN AND CRANIAL NERVES

Exercise 15: Observe a microscope slide of a typical neuron. See Figure 15.2.

SHEEP BRAIN:

Exercise 17: Refer to Exercise 17, sheep brain pictures 17.11, 17.12, 17.13, 17.14.

Observe the sheep brain and find the following structures: Meninges: Dura mater, arachnoid, pia mater.

Dorsal Structures: Longitudinal fissure, convolutions, cerebrum, cerebral hemispheres, cerebellum, corpora quadrigemina (superior and inferior colliculi).

Ventral Structures: Olfactory bulbs (site where olfactory nerve from nose synapses), optic nerves, optic chiasma, optic tracts, hypothalamus (infundibulum, mammillary body), cerebral peduncles, oculomotor nerve, trochlear nerve, pons, medulla oblongata, trigeminal nerve, abducens nerve, accessory nerve, and hypoglossal nerve. (Note, cranial nerves VII, VIII, IX and X are often difficult to find or missing on some of the brains.)

Internal Structures: Corpus callosum, lateral ventricle, fornix, third ventricle, thalamus, hypothalamus, pineal body, midbrain, cerebral aqueduct, fourth ventricle, cerebral peduncles, pons, medulla oblongata, and cerebellum.

NOVEMBER 9,11 – PERIPHERAL NERVES of the MINK AND HUMAN REFLEXES

PERIPHERAL NERVES of the MINK:

The optional Dissection Guide and Atlas to the Mink by David Smith and Michael Schenk has mink muscles in Chapter 8.

Observe the following mink nerves of the Brachial Plexus: Musculocutaneous
nerve, Radial nerve, Median nerve, Ulnar nerve. Mink arm nerves.

Observe the following mink nerves of the Lumbosacral plexus: Femoral nerve with its superficial saphenous nerve branch, Sciatic nerve. Mink lateral right thigh. Mink medial right thigh.

HUMAN REFLEXES:

Exercise 21: Study the Reflex Arc illustrated in Figure 21.1 in your Marieb Lab Manual. Complete Activities 1-9, but omit the “Corneal
Reflex” and “Salivary Reflex”.

This includes the following somatic reflexes: Patellar reflex (including mental distraction, muscular activity and fatigue), Calcaneal tendon or ankle-jerk reflex, Crossed-extensor reflex, Plantar reflex (normal and Babinski’s sign), Gag reflex. It also includes the following autonomic reflexes: Pupillary reflex (direct = ipsilateral response and indirect = consensual response), Ciliospinal reflex. Last, compare reaction time of an intrinsic reflex (patellar reflex) and a learned reflex (ruler catching) by completing Activity 9.

NOVEMBER 16,18 – SENSORY PHYSIOLOGY

GENERAL SENSATION:

Exercise 22: Complete Activity 2 on Two-Point Threshold, Activity 3 on Testing
Tactile Localization, and Activity 4 on Adaptation of Touch Receptors.

Exercise 24: Complete the visual experiments, Activities 1-7. This includes: Demonstrating blind spot, Determining near point of accommodation, Visual acuity with Snellen eye chart, Testing for astigmatism, Testing for color blindness with Ishihara color plates, Testing for depth perception, Photopupillary reflex, Accommodation pupillary reflex, and Convergence reflex.

Exercise 25: Complete all of the hearing laboratory tests in Activity 4, [excluding audiometry]. This includes: Acuity test, Sound localization, Frequency range of hearing, Weber test, and Rinne test.

OLFACTION & TASTE:

Exercise 26: Complete the following experiments: Activity 3 on Stimulating Taste Buds,
Activity 4 on Olfactory Stimulation (on Taste), Activity 5 on Taste and Olfaction in Odor Identification, and Activity 6 on Olfactory Adaptation.

NOVEMBER 30, DECEMBER 2 – EXAM THREE at 1:30 The exam will take about 30 minutes, and consists of 25 stations/questions and one minute per station. You cannot return to any stations. Spelling does not have to exact, but must be very close.


Victoria Barker

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