Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Handbook for the Physiological Laboratory. Text
Burdon-Sanderson, John Scott E. Klein Michael Foster T. Lauder Brunton
the method previously described (Chapter II. p. 34) and covered in 
glycerin, with its endothelial surface upwards. If the vessel is 
thin-walled, e.q., the vena cava of a small animal, it can be covered 
without any preparation. For the endothelium of capillaries in 
the kidney or bladder, or in the serous membranes, the best re¬ 
sults are obtained by injection of the solution of nitrate of silver. 
In the serous membranes, however, eg., in the mesentery, good 
preparations can be obtained by first pencilling one or both sur¬ 
faces with fresh serum in situ (the animal having been bled to 
death), and then cutting out the pencilled part and colouring in 
silver in the usual way. 
The endothelium of the large arteries consists of long narrow 
spindle-shaped plates. The nucleus is oblong, and usually in the 
middle of each plate. The interstitial lines are very slightly 
sinuous. The endothelial elements of the veins are relatively 
broader. If the staining is intense, the cell is filled with brown 
precipitate, the nucleus remaining clear. The capillary vessels 
appear, when coloured with silver, to consist merely of oblong 
plates, the interstitial lines of which are commonly more or less 
sinuous. The oblong regular nuclei of the walls of the capillaries 
seen in profile are those of the endothelial elements. It is easy 
to colour the nuclei by carmine, in which case an acid solution 
must be used, i.e., an ammoniacal solution to which a sufficient 
quantity of acetic acid has been added to render it distinctly acid. 
Larger vessels must be immersed in the solution, but for capil¬ 
laries it is enough to immerse the membrane in which they are 
contained. Ten minutes immersion is sufficient for the pur¬ 
pose : the preparation must then be washed in water and pre* 
pared in glycerin. In preparations of mesentery of the frog or 
of a small mammalian animal in bichromate of potash, the nuclei 
may be readily recognized, not only in profile, but on the surface 
of the small vessels. 
The Intima.—The anatomical relations of the intima, i.e., of the 
internal longitudinal fibres, and the elastic membrane, may be 
studied either in sections or in the fresh state. In large arteries, 
the best method is to immerse the vessel in one per cent, solution 
of bichromate for several days. The intima is then peeled off in 
thin strips, which are teased in the same liquid and covered with 
glycerin. This is the only way of showing the elastic network or 
the fenestrated membrane which exists in certain arteries. In 
vessels of macroscopical dimensions, e.g., in large arteries of the 
mesentery, the intima is seen in profile both in fresh preparations 
and after treatment with bichromate of potash, as a doubly-con¬ 
toured, sharply-defined membrane; the surface view showing traces 
of longitudinal fibres. In cross sections of smaller arteries, the 
intima is seen as a wavy hyaline membrane, differing in thickness


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