Thymus gland, light micrograph

Thymus gland, light micrograph

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Credit: MICROSCAPE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Light microscopy of the thymus gland displaying a lobular morphology with an outer dense cortex and inner lighter stained medulla. Red structures are blood vessels. Seeded with precursor white blood cells from bone marrow the thymus selects a tiny fraction for development into T lymphocytes essential for normal immune functions. The cortex teems with huge numbers of differentiating lymphocytes. The medulla provides final maturation steps prior to release of competent T cells into the general body circulation. With advancing age the thymus shrinks considerably and is slowly replaced by fibrofatty tissue. Magnification x25 when printed at 10 cm.

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Keywords: biological, biology, cortex, histological, histology, immune organ, immune system, immune tissue, light micrograph, light microscopy, lymphocyte, medulla, section, t cell, t lymphocyte, thymus

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