​   All the tissues and organs of the body originate from a microscopic structure (the fertilized ovum), which consists of a soft jelly-like material enclosed in a membrane and containing a vesicle or small spherical body inside which are one or more denser spots. This may be regarded as a complete cell. All the solid tissues consist largely of cells essentially similar to it in nature but differing in external form.   4  In the higher organisms a cell may be defined as “a nucleated mass of protoplasm of microscopic size.” Its two essentials, therefore, are: a soft jelly-like material, similar to that found in the ovum, and usually styled cytoplasm, and a small spherical body imbedded in it, and termed a nucleus. Some of the unicellular protozoa contain no nuclei but granular particles which, like true nuclei, stain with basic dyes. The other constituents of the ovum, viz., its limiting membrane and the denser spot contained in the nucleus, called the nucleolus, are not essential to the type cell, and in fact many cells exist without them.   5  Cytoplasm (protoplasm) is a material probably of variable constitution during life, but yielding on its disintegration bodies chiefly of proteid nature. Lecithin and cholesterin are constantly found in it, as well as inorganic salts, chief among which are the phosphates and chlorides of potassium, sodium, and calcium. It is of a semifluid, viscid consistence, and probably colloidal in nature. The living cytoplasm appears to consist of a homogeneous and structureless ground-substance in which are embedded granules of various types. The mitochondria are the most constant type of granule and vary in form from granules to rods and threads. Their function is unknown. Some of the granules are proteid in nature and probably essential constituents; others are fat, glycogen, or pigment granules, and are regarded as adventitious material taken in from without, and hence are styled cell-inclusions or paraplasm. When, however, cells have been “fixed” by reagents a fibrillar or granular appearance can often be made out under a high power of the microscope. The fibrils are usually arranged in a network or reticulum, to which the term spongioplasm is applied, the clear substance in the meshes being termed hyaloplasm. The size and shape of the meshes of the spongioplasm vary in different cells and in different parts of the same cell. The relative amounts of spongioplasm and hyaloplasm also vary in different cells, the latter preponderating in the young cell and the former increasing at the expense of the hyaloplasm as the cell grows. Such appearances in fixed cells are no indication whatsoever of the existence of similar structures in the living, although there must have been something in the living cell to give rise to the fixed structures. The peripheral layer of a cell is in all cases modified, either by the formation of a definite cell membrane as in the ovum, or more frequently in the case of animal cells, by a transformation, probably chemical in nature, which is only recognizable by the fact that the surface of the cell behaves as a semipermeable membrane.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s