Cytoplasmic Granules Index
Although intracellular granules are frequently present in histological preparations, they are often difficult to identify with the H & E stain and may be required to be demonstrated more prominently. Most often this is to identify mast cells, tissue eosinophils and plasma cells, which may increase in numbers in various conditions, and Nissl bodies in nerve cell cytoplasm.
The various cytoplasmic granules of the anterior hypophysis of the pituitary used to be required for identification of the various cell types, which were then linked to various hormones.
The selective demonstration of other granules may only be required very infrequently for diagnostic purposes, if at all. Paneth cell granules and the juxtaglomerular apparatus are examples. In addition, some granules may be found in endocrine cells and in enterochromaffin cells of the intestinal tract in addition to those found in Paneth cells.
I have also included melanin as it is a normal intracellular component of skin cells and some brain cells. Mitochondria require special treatment for preservation and specialised staining and, although not usually thought of as a "granule", are included here for convenience. The same applies to the Golgi element. Similarly, nucleolar organising regions (NOR) are included. Finally, intracellular hyaline may be encountered in some situations and is also included.
Last updated March, 2016