Histology Guide

virtual histology laboratory

Chapter 14 - Gastrointestinal Tract

The gastrointestinal tract takes in food, digests and absorbs nutrients, and eliminates the remaining waste material.

Fig 003 Gastrointestinal Tract

Hard Palate

The hard palate is a thin horizontal bony plate located in the roof of the mouth.

MHS 246 Hard Palate


Tongue is a moveable muscular process in the mouth that manipulates food for mastication and is used in the act of swallowing. The tongue's upper surface is covered by taste buds housed in numerous papilae.

MH 108 Tongue

(foliate papillae and taste buds)

MHS 208 Tongue

(filiform papillae)

MHS 201 Tongue

(filiform papillae)

MHS 264 Tongue

(circumvallate papillae)

MHS 266 Tongue

(fungiform papillae)


The esophagus is a muscular tube through which food passes from the mouth (pharynx) to the stomach.

MH 109 Esophagus

(middle third)

MHS 234 Esophagus

(lower third)

Gastroesophageal Junction

MH 111a Gastroesophageal Junction


The stomach digests food by acidification and the breakdown of proteins. It is divided into three histological regions (cardiac, body/fundus and pyloric) on their anatomical location and appearance of their glands.

MH 111a Stomach Wall

MH 111a Cardiac Stomach

MHS 247 Fundic Stomach

MH 112 Fundic Stomach

MH 113 Fundic Stomach

MHS 251 Fundic Stomach

MH 115 Pyloric Stomach

Gastroduodenal Junction

The gastroduodenal junction is the boundary between the stomach and the duodenum of the small intestine.

MH 116 Gastroduodenal Junction

MHS 225 Gastroduodenal Junction

Small Intestine

The small intestine is involved in the digestion of food and nutrient absorption. It is divided into the duodenum, jejunum and ileum.

MH 118 Small Intestine

(ileum, jejunum, and duodenum)

MHS 272 Duodenum

MHS 219 Jejunum

MHS 248 Jejunum

(Masson's trichrome)

MH 119 Ileum

MH 120 Ileum

MHS 273 Ileum

Large Intestine

The large intestine absorbs water and consolidates the fecal mass. It is divided into the cecum, appendix, colon, rectum and anal cannal.

MH 123 Colon

MHS 274 Colon

MH 122 Appendix

MHS 221 Appendix


The rectum is the final portion of the large intestine that acts as a temporary storage site for feces.

MHS 275 Rectum

MHS 258 Recto-Anal Junction