Intervertebral disc, light micrograph

Intervertebral disc, light micrograph

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Caption: Light microscopy of an intervertebral disc between two developing vertebral bodies (irregular pink structures) their cartilage growth plates stained blue. The centre of the disc is cells and a gel-like matrix, called the nucleus pulposus. It is a remnant of the head-to-tail axis of the early embryo (the notochord). Fibrocartilage rings (blue-pink) form the outer margins of the disc, called the annulus fibrosus. The disc acts like a cushion between the stacked vertebral bodies and resists compression but allows movements of each vertebra. A slipped disc' is an abnormal protrusion (herniation) of the central portion through a damaged region or tear of the fibrocartilage. Magnification x50 when printed at 10 cm height.

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Keywords: annulus fibrosus, biological, biology, bone, cartilage, fibrocartilage, histological, histology, intervertebral disc, light micrograph, light microscopy, nucleus pulposus, section, spinal column, spine, vertebra, vertebrae, vertebral column

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