Workbook tasks

Slide 42: Large intestine


This specimen is a longitudinal section through the large intestine.

The colon is a good example of the different types of connective tissue cells, goblet cells and simple tubular glands.



  • The longitudinally sectioned colon

  • The luminal surface

  • A thin dark pink coloured line, the mucosa.
  • A central light pink coloured area with fine pink coloured structures, the submucosa.
  • An outer pink coloured irregular area, the outer muscle layer.
  • Serosa


  • Single cell gland or goblet cell (pale staining)

  • Simple tubular gland. Note that the simple tubular gland is the whole test tube shaped structure and that it is lined with goblet cells and columnar epithelial cells.

  • In the lamina propria of the mucosa, which comprises an epithelial layer and a loose connective tissue layer, the lamina propria, the following cells must be identified:

    • Fibroblasts
    • Plasma cells
    • Macrophages
    • Mast cells
    • Eosinophils
    • Lymphocytes
    • Smooth muscle fibers


Draw and annotate:

A line diagram of the colon.

A goblet cell as well as a simple tubular gland (with goblet cells and columnar epithelial cells), as seen in longitudinal section.

The different cell types. List with each cell type, their distinguishing characteristics.


  1. What are the characteristics of a goblet cell?
  2. What cells form a simple tubular gland?
  3. What are the distinguishing characteristics of the crypts as far as their structure and arrangement are concerned?
  4. What is typical of the outer layer of M. externa?
  5. What are the similarities and differences between the colon, appendix, vermiformis, ileum and duodenum?




Tubular glands in the colon
A single simple tubular gland in the colon

Medium magnification

High magnification

High magnification of the colon

High magnification of the colon

High magnification of the colon
High magnification of the colon

Very high magnification


© julie 2008 marius loots