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Journal: Anatomical science international


The suprascapular notch is the most common site of suprascapular nerve entrapment, which can manifest in disability and pain of the upper limb. Here, we present three cases of a very rare anatomical variation in the suprascapular region: the coexistence of the suprascapular notch and the suprascapular foramen. The variation was found during radiological and anatomical investigations. The suprascapular foramen was situated inferior to the suprascapular notch. A bony bridge lay between them, likely created by an ossified anterior coracoscapular ligament (ACSL). This anatomical variation probably increased the risk of suprascapular nerve entrapment by nerve irritation of the bony margins during passsage through the foramen and by a lack of the elasticity that the ACSL normally demonstrates. Also, a bony bridge passing through the middle part of the suprascapular notch reduces the space available for nerve passage (bony bridge decreases the space by about 36.5-38.6 %). One patient who underwent the radiological study had typical symptoms of suprascapular nerve entrapment. Based on his medical history and the presence of this rare variation of the suprascapular notch at the suprascapular region we suspect this neuropathy.

Concepts: Pain, Radiology, Anatomy, Upper limb, Limb, Supraspinatus muscle, Suprascapular nerve, Suprascapular notch


Five samples of human midterm fetal uterus and fallopian tube (four donor bodies) were used to assess whether or not processes of angiogenesis are guided by endothelial tip cells (ETCs), and if cytokine-receptors, such as CD117/c-kit and PDGFR-α, are expressed in the microenvironment of the endothelial tubes. CD34 labeled microvessels in the uterine wall (myometrium and endometrium) and in the wall of the uterine (fallopian) tube, and accurately identified ETCs in both organs. We conclude that sprouting angiogenesis in the developing human female tract is guided by ETCs. Moreover, CD117/c-kit antibodies labeled mural networks of pericytes, α-SMA-positive and desmin-negative, related to the endometrial (but not myometrial) microvessels, and similar labeling was identified in the wall of the uterine tube. PDGFR-α positive labeling, stromal and pericytary, was also found. Thus, sprouting angiogenesis in human fetal genital organs appears to be guided by tip cells and is influenced by tyrosine kinase receptor signaling.

Concepts: Signal transduction, Embryo, Uterus, Endometrium, Fallopian tube, Myometrium


Subjects with persistent left superior vena cava were classified on the basis of the presence and thickness of both superior venae cavae, the anastomotic ramus between the superior venae cavae (anastomotic ramus), and the presence of both azygos veins. Among subjects with persistent left superior vena cava, the percentage of those with weak development of the anastomotic ramus (41.5 %) or absence of an anastomotic ramus (35.8 %) was 77.3 %. In addition, 54.7 % of subjects had a left azygos vein. However, 88.7 % of subjects had a right azygos vein. In this classification, the most frequently observed types included the presence of both superior venae cavae, an anastomotic ramus, and both azygos veins (20.8 %). During student dissection practice sessions performed on 337 cadavers that were carried out from 2002 through 2010, a subject having a left superior vena cava (in 2002) and a subject having both superior venae cavae (in 2003) were detected. The former case was reported previously. The latter case is reported in this paper. The incidence of persistent left superior vena cava was 0.59 % (2/337 cadavers).

Concepts: Vein, Inferior vena cava, Superior vena cava, Veins of the torso, Azygos vein, Persistent left superior vena cava


The majority of investigations on the testis, as the main organ of male reproductive system, have been performed in mammalian species, with few studies on bird species. Thus, the structure of the ostrich testis remains largely unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the microanatomical characteristics of the testis in five juvenile ostriches. A stereological study was performed according to the Delesse principle. The mean volume fraction of the seminiferous tubules was 0.569, and the mean volume of the seminiferous tubules in an average testis was 1.04 cm(3). The Paraffin-embedded sections were stained with hematoxylin and eosin, Masson’s trichrome, Alcian blue, and periodic acid-Schiff stains. Histological studies revealed that the spermatogonial stem cells and Sertoli cells were localized inside the seminiferous tubules, close to the basement membrane. Inside the tubules a few meiotic cells up to the spermatozoa stage were located in a centripetal manner. Outside the tubules, one to three layers of euchromatic peritubular myoid cells were present, surrounded by loose interstitial connective tissue. A thick tunica albuginea contained many myoid cells and some rete ducts, with the latter extending from the hilus to the free surface of the testis. Straight seminiferous tubules were distributed in the lateral surfaces and hilar portions of the capsule but were rare in the free surface. These capsular rete ducts may participate in testicular fluid transit from the distal tubules through the capsule.

Concepts: Histology, Bird, Testicle, Spermatozoon, Sertoli cell, Male reproductive system, Seminiferous tubule, Ostrich


Dromedary camels are large even-toed ungulates which are well adapted to life in large deserts. Examinations of their feet have revealed many structural peculiarities. We have measured the digital bones of the dromedary in order to determine whether there are morphometric variations in the digital bones between the lateral and medial sides in individual limbs and/or in the right and left thoracic and pelvic limbs, with the aim to clarify whether there are anatomical differences in the digital bones of dromedary as a suborder of the order Artiodactyla. Measurements were made of 240 lateral and medial proximal, middle, and distal phalanges in the left and right thoracic and pelvic limbs of ten healthy adult male dromedaries, ranging in age from 6 to 10 years. A total of 17 linear dimensions were measured using a caliper. The results indicate that there are no significant differences between corresponding measurements of digital bones of the lateral and medial in the same limb, nor between measurements of the right and left sides. The lengths and widths of the proximal and middle, and distal phalanges in the thoracic limb were found to be greater than those of the pelvic limb. The sum of the total lengths of the three phalanges of the thoracic limbs was 15 mm greater than that of the phalanges of the pelvic limbs due to a longer proximal phalanx (76 %) and middle phalanx of the former (24 %). The perspectives obtained by our morphometric study of dromedary digital bones not only provide a tool to distinguish the osteological remains of the dromedary from those of the Bactrian camel or other artiodactyls in archaeological sites, but they also suggest a possible influence of digital structure on digit functions and digital disorders.

Concepts: Deer, Camel, Odd-toed ungulate, French Revolution, Dromedary, Even-toed ungulate, Camelid, Tylopoda


The large bamboo rat (Rhizomys sumatrensis) is a fossorial rodent found throughout Indochina that has a distinct habitat dominated by bamboo thickets. In the study reported here, the lingual biology of this rodent is described in detail, based on characteristic features of the tongue and lingual papillae as determined by light and scanning electron microscopy studies. The tongue was found to be elongated with a rounded apex and possessed a median groove and a well-developed intermolar prominence. Three types of the papillae were found on the dorsal lingual surface: filiform, fungiform and vallate papillae. The most abundant papillae were the filiform papillae, the majority of which had a wide base and fork-like processes. Rounded fungiform papillae with one to four taste buds were randomly distributed among the filiform papillae, with a high density found at the anterior tongue, particularly the apex. Two oval vallate papillae were observed on the posterior part of the tongue, surrounded by a circumferential groove into which their numerous gustatory pores opened. The lingual radix had no papillae but contained mucus-secreting Weber’s salivary glands. Structural adaptations of the tongue to meet the functional demands of food ingestion and food manipulation in the oral cavity are also discussed.

Concepts: Taste, Tongue, Gustatory system, Taste bud, Filiform papilla, Fungiform papilla, Bamboo rat, Large Bamboo Rat


Although its history is complicated, today’s anatomical nomenclature, including muscle terminology, has acquired a system of naming using epithets. The objective of this literary research paper was to ascertain the founder of modern muscle terminology. The texts of four anatomists, Galen, Andreas Vesalius, Jacobus Sylvius, and Gaspard Bauhin, who have all been identified as being influential in the establishment of early modern anatomy and its nomenclature, were analyzed. Particular emphasis was given to the naming method, and to the consistency of that method. The analysis shows that each of these four anatomists had a different conception of muscle naming, and that three early modern anatomists, Vesalius, Sylvius, and Bauhin, contributed to the development of modern muscle terminology. This investigation revealed the types of contributions they made: Vesalius was an originator of rule-governed muscle terminology with a univocal naming method, Sylvius was an inventor of epithet naming, and Bauhin applied Sylvius’s epithet naming method to Vesalius’s concept of rule-governed terminology with a univocal naming method.


Despite academic efforts to study the Indus Valley Civilization (IVC), there have as yet been no successful attempts to unveil the IVC people’s craniofacial appearance. We investigated the IVC cemetery area of Rakhigarhi site, which was estimated to be of 2273 ± 38 and 2616 ± 73 years BCE. By craniofacial reconstruction (CFR) procedure using computed tomography (CT) data of two Rakhigarhi skulls (A1 BR02 and A2 BR36), we successfully reconstructed the faces of the IVC individuals who were buried about 4500 years ago. This is the first attempt to unveil scientifically accurate representations of IVC people’s actual facial morphology.


Variants of the axillary artery and brachial plexus were found bilaterally in the axilla of an 86-year-old Asian female. On the left, the cadaver donor had a high bifurcation of the second part of the axillary artery, creating a superficial brachial artery. Meanwhile, the right axilla presented with root, trunk, and cord variations in the formation of the brachial plexus, the most interesting feature being a single, unified cord. Presented in this case report are the structural relationships of the variants with considerations regarding anatomy, embryology, prevalence, and clinical importance.


Proximally, the arrector pili muscle (APM) attaches to the follicular stem cell niche in the bulge, but its distal properties are comparatively unclear. In this work, a novel method employing an F-actin probe, phalloidin, was employed to visualize the APM anatomy. Phalloidin staining of the APM was validated by comparison with conventional antibodies/stains and by generating three-dimensional reconstructions. The proximal attachment of the APM to the bulge in 8 patients with androgenic alopecia was studied using Masson’s trichrome stain. Phalloidin visualized extensive branching of the APM. The distal end of the human APM exhibits a unique “C”-shaped structure connecting to the dermal-epidermal junction. The proximal APM attachment was observed to be lost or extremely miniaturized in androgenic alopecia. The unique shape, location, and attachment sites of the APM suggest a significant role for this muscle in maintaining follicular integrity. Proximally, the APM encircles the follicular unit and only attaches to the primary hair follicle in the bulge; this attachment is lost in irreversible hair loss. The APM exhibits an arborized morphology as it ascends toward the epidermis, and anchors to the basement membrane.

Concepts: Chemotherapy, Microscope, Histology, Staining, Masson's trichrome stain, Alopecia, Baldness, Androgenic alopecia