Spleen
General
Histology

Author: Jaleh Mansouri, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 28 February 2018, last major update October 2012

Copyright: (c) 2003-2018, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Spleen[TI] histology[TI]

Table of Contents
Definition / general | Drawings
Cite this page: Mansouri, J. Histology. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/spleenhistology.html. Accessed May 21st, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Composed of red pulp (occupies 75% of splenic volume) and white pulp separated by marginal zone

Red pulp:
  • Filters old / damaged red blood cells
  • Traversed by thin walled venous sinusoids lined by littoral cells, a type of endothelial cell which also stains with histiocytic markers and has a discontinuous wall, allowing passing of red blood cells between sinus and cords
  • Sinuses are separated by splenic cords (cords of Billroth) containing a labyrinth of splenic macrophages, which filter red blood cells and ingest old (normal lifespan is 120 days), damaged (seen in hereditary spherocytosis, sickle cell anemia) or antibody coated red blood cells
  • Also remove Heinz bodies or other red blood cell inclusions (peripheral blood has Howell-Jolly bodies if no functional spleen is present)

White pulp:
  • Forms sheaths of lymphoid cells around arteries (periarteriolar lymphatic sheath), composed of T cells and lymphoid follicles (B cells) with surrounding mantle zone (proliferating B cells) and outer marginal zone (memory B cells)
  • Traps antigens for processing
  • In young infants, immature marginal zone may contribute to increased susceptibility to bacterial infections or sudden infant death syndrome (Hum Pathol 2004;35:113)

Blood flow:
  • Arteries terminate in fine penicilliary arterioles surrounded by lymphocytes, then enter red pulp sinusoids, then to splenic veins
Drawings

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