Virtual histology slide box

Last updated: June 22, 2020

Summarytoggle arrow icon

The virtual histology slide box provides an introduction to the histology of general tissue types and specific organ systems. Each specimen is accompanied by a caption that provides information on staining, magnification, and the structures shown. Virtual microscopy is provided in cooperation with Smart Zoom. Complementary to this Article, the virtual histopathology slide box contains numerous images of captioned histopathological specimens with the same virtual microscopy feature.

General histologytoggle arrow icon

General histology distinguishes between four basic types of animal tissue.

The following sections provide a range of examples for subtypes of each of these four basic types of tissue. Specific organ tissues are presented in the section on histology of organ systems below.

Epithelial tissuetoggle arrow icon

Surface epithelium

Simple squamous epithelium

Intestinal serosa (= visceral peritoneum)

Pulmonary alveoli (type1 alveolar cells as an example of specialized epithelium)

Nonkeratinized stratified squamous epithelium



Keratinized stratified squamous epithelium

Skin (epidermis)

Simple cuboidal epithelium

Kidney (epithelium of the proximal tubule)

Ovarian surface epithelium

Stratified cuboidal epithelium

Duct epithelium of sebaceous glands

Simple columnar epithelium

Colon epithelium

Pseudostratified columnar epithelium

Respiratory epithelium

Stratified columnar epithelium


Glandular epithelium

Acinar glands (serous glands)

Tubular glands (mucus glands)

Tubuloacinar glands (seromucous glands)

Tubuloalveolar glands

Tubuloalveolar glands in serous glands (lacrimal gland)

Tubuloalveolar glands in mucus glands (Brunner glands in the duodenum)

Connective tissuetoggle arrow icon

Connective tissue

Loose connective tissue

Submucosa of the esophagus

Dense connective tissue

Stroma of cornea

Adipose tissue

White adipose tissue

Atrophic thymus

Cartilaginous tissue

Hyaline cartilage

Elastic cartilage

Bone tissue

Fetal bone (woven/fibrous bone)

Bone formation by intramembranous ossification

Bone formation by endochondral ossification

Mature bone (secondary/lamellar bone)

Compact bone

Trabecular bone

Nervous tissuetoggle arrow icon

Histology of organ systemstoggle arrow icon

The following sections will provide examples of these specific organ tissues:

Slides of fetal tissue can be found in both the individual organ sections and a separate section on fetal histology to enable quick comparison of fetal and adult tissues in the anatomical context as well as provide to easy reference in the embryological context.

Organs of the circulatory systemtoggle arrow icon

Respiratory tract and lungstoggle arrow icon

Blood and hematopoiesistoggle arrow icon


Blood smear

Blood cells


Hematopoiesis in adults

Fetal hematopoiesis (in the liver)

Accessory organs of the digestive tracttoggle arrow icon

Kidneys and the urinary tracttoggle arrow icon


Urinary tract


Urinary bladder


Urethra (female)

Urethra (male)

For the male urethra, see transverse section of the penis below.

Female reproductive organstoggle arrow icon

Male reproductive organstoggle arrow icon


Seminal tract and accessory glands


Vas deferens


Transverse section of the penis

Spermatozoa in ejaculate

Skin with skin appendages and mammary glandstoggle arrow icon

Skin with skin appendages

There are two types of skin: hairy skin and glabrous (hairless) skin. Hairy skin is less keratinized than glabrous skin and contains all types of skin appendages (eccrine sweat glands, apocrine sweat glands, sebaceous glands, hair, and nails). In contrast, glabrous skin is highly keratinized and only contains eccrine sweat glands.

Glabrous (hairless) skin

Hairy skin

Mammary gland

Mammary glands are modified apocrine sweat glands and are therefore classified as skin appendages.

Sensory organstoggle arrow icon



Accessory organs of the eye



Inner ear

Nasal wall

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