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Toward the head end or upper part of a structure or the body; above


Away from the head end or toward the lower part of a structure or the body; below

Ventral (anterior)

Toward or at the front of the body; in front of

Dorsal (posterior)

Toward or at the back of the body; behind


Toward or at the midline of the body; on the inner side of


Away from the midline of the body; on the outer side of


Between a more medial and a more lateral structure


Closer to the origin of the body part or the point of attachment of a limb to the body trunk


Farther from the origin of a body part or the point of attachment of a limb to the body trunk

Superficial (external)

Toward or at the body surface

Deep (internal)

Away from the body surface; more internal

Gross anatomy

The study of macroscopic body structures
Those that are visible to the naked eye or by using a hand lens

Systemic anatomy

Studied where body parts are organized according to functions so that those with common functions are studied together

Regional anatomy

All the structures in a specific body region are studied together

Surface anatomy

The study of form and markings of the body's surface, especially as they relate to internal structures

Microscopic anatomy

Is concerned with minute body structures and requires a microscope

Developmental anatomy

The study of changes that occur as the body grows and differentiates from single cell into adult form

Basic reference system

Structural units

Cell membrane chemical composition


Rough Endoplasmic Reticulum (RER)

Contains ribosomes used for protein synthesis.
Synthesizes membranes used for its maintenance and repair.
Synthesizes secretory proteins such as antibodies.

Smooth Endoplasmic Reticulum (SER)

Synthesizes phospholipids, cholesterol, and steroids.
Stores and releases calcium ions needed for muscle contraction
Detoxifies drugs


Convert food energy into ATP energy
Has inner folds called cristae
Have their own DNA

Golgi Apparatus

Process and package synthesized macromolecules for transport to the cell membrane


Non-membranous sacs located adjacent to the ER and the Golgi Bodies containing hydrolytic enzymes
Made when the need to dispose of waste arises


Membranous organelle
Used for food storage and waste removal


Store and remove toxic hydrogen peroxide solution


Center for protein synthesis


Gel-like material that holds all the organelles within the cell except the nucleus
Consists of organelles, fibers, storage vesicles, and a mesh of transport tubes


Consists of an intricate organizational network of microtubules and filaments that provide structural support and form interconnecting network that enables the movement of molecules all over the cell


Long fiber-like strands that participate in contraction as well as movement
Provide structural support and movements by forming the framework or cytoskeleton of the cell


Part of the microtubule-organizing center
Possibly direct the activity of cilia and flagella


Control center of the cell
Contains the genetic material, DNA, which codes for synthesis of protein and is responsible for the transfer of inheritance.
Center of synthesis of nucleic acids

Nuclear Membrane

Surrounds the nucleus

Nuclear Pores

Openings in the nuclear membrane used for the exit of RNA into the cytoplasm following transcription of the genetic codes for DNA


Thread-like granules that contain DNA and RNA


Coiled and condensed bar-like bodies of chromatins
Contains the genes


Extensions of the cell's interior which provides movement


Short cellular projections with functions associated with removing particles or moving of water over surfaces such as tissues
Found in the windpipe and sensory cells of the ear

Epithelial Tissue

Covers surfaces, lines cavities, and forms glands
Homogeneous (1 type of cells)
Outer layer of the skin, forms the lining of the intestinal tract, urinary, and respiratory passages, blood vessels, uterus, and other body cavities
Supported by connective tissue
Avascular but innervated

Simple Squamous Epithelia

Functions in diffusion and filtration
Found in blood vessels and uterine tubes

Simple Cuboidal Epithelia

Functions in secretion and absorption
Found in kidney tubules and ovary

Simple Columnar Epithelia

Facilitate movement
Found in bronchioles and uterine tubes

Stratified Squamous Epithelia

Protects underlying tissues in areas subjected to abrasion
Found in lining of esophagus, mouth and vagina

Stratified Cuboidal Epithelia

Function is protection
Found in the largest ducts of sweat glands, mammary glands, and salivary glands

Stratified Columnar Epithelia

Functions include protection and secretion
Found in the male urethra, and in large ducts of some glands
Rare in the human body

Transitional Epithelia

Stretches readily
Lines the ureters, urinary bladder, and part of the urethra

Pseudostratified Columnar Epithelia

Function includes secretion, particularly of mucus
Found in the trachea


Epithelial tissue specialized to produce molecules for use in the body

Exocrine Glands

Have ducts or tubes to carry secretions away from the glands
Made up of similar cells
Either simple or multicellular

Endocrine Glands

Depend on blood flowing through the gland to carry secretions to another organ
Secretions are known as hormones

Connective Tissue

Supporting cells of all parts of the body
Usually heterogenous populations of cells
Functions include binding and support, protection, insulation, and transportation

Embryonic Connective Tissue

Gives rise to all other connective tissue types
Primarily found in the embryo

Areolar Loose Connective Tissue

Wraps and cushions organs
Holds and conveys tissue fluid
Widely disbursed under epithelia of body

Adipose Loose Connective Tissue

Provides reserve fuel
Insulates against heat loss
Supports and protects organs
Found under the skin, around the kidneys and eyeballs, in breasts

Reticular Loose Connective Tissue

Supports other cell types including white blood cells, mast cells, and macrophages
Found in lymphoid organs (lymph nodes, bone marrow, and spleen)

Dense Regular Connective Tissue

Attaches muscle to bone or other muscles or bone to bone
Found in tendons, most ligaments, and aponeuroses

Elastic Dense Connective Tissue

Allows recoiling of tissue following stretching
Maintains pulsating flow of blood through arteries
Found in walls of large arteries

Dense Irregular Connective Tissue

Able to withstand tension exerted in many directions
Provides structural strength
Found in fibrous capsules of organs and joints

Hyaline Cartilage

Supports and reinforces
Found in costal cartilage, the nose, trachea, and larynx

Elastic Cartilage

Maintains the shape of a structure while allowing for great flexibility
Found in the external ear and epiglottis


Tensil strength with the ability to absorb compressive shock
Found in the intervertebral discs, pubic synthesis, and discs of the knees


Transport of respiratory gases, nutrients, wastes, and other substances
Found within the blood vessels

Nervous Tissue

Transmit electrical signals from sensory receptors and to effectors which control their activity
Found in the brain, spinal cord, and nerves

Skeletal Muscle

Voluntary movement
Attaches to bone or occasionally skin

Cardiac Muscle

Propels blood into the circulation
Involuntary control
Found in the walls of the heart

Smooth Muscle

Propels substances or objects along internal passageways
Involuntary control
Found mostly in the walls of hollow organs

Endocrine System

The body's second great controlling system which influences metabolic activities of cells by producing and releasing chemical substances known as hormones into the circulatory system
Is in charge of body processes that happen slowly such as cell growth, development, absorption of nutrients, energy metabolism. water & electrolyte balance, reproduction, birth, and lactation

Endocrine Glands

Composed of endocrine cells (secreting) and connective tissue surrounded by capillaries
Include the pituitary (hypophysis), thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal, pineal, thymus, pancreas, and gonads

Classifications of Hormones

Amines & polypeptides (proteins)

Target Cell Activation

Depends on blood levels of the hormone, relative number of receptors on the target cell, and the affinity of those receptors for the hormone

Protein Hormones

Use 2nd messenger system to cause effect on the target cell

Steroid Hormones

Freely enter the target cell and directly activate the genes

Humoral Stimuli

Secretion of hormones in direct response to changing blood levels of ions and nutrients

Neural Stimuli

Nerve fibers stimulate hormone release

Endocrine (Hormonal) Stimuli

Release of hormones in response to hormones produced by other endocrine organs

Negative Feedback Mechanism

Where internal or external stimulus triggers hormone secretion. As hormone levels rise, they cause target organ effects, which then inhibits further hormone production

Positive Feedback Mechanism

Feedback that tends to cause the level of a variable to change in the same direction as an initial change

2nd Messenger System

Protein hormones bind to receptors, which bind to G-proteins which become activated and binds to GTP, activated G-proteins activates the enzyme adenylate cyclase which generates cAMP from ATP, cAMP activates protein kinases which cause cellular effects

Direct Gene Activation

Steroid hormones diffuse into their target cell and bind with intracellular receptors, receptor-hormone complex enters the nucleus, binds to a specific region of DNA, which promotes DNA transcription to produce mRNA, which directs protein synthesis

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