Henry Gray (18251861). Anatomy of the Human Body. 1918.
The cortical portion (substantia corticalis) consists of a fine connective-tissue net-work, in which is imbedded the glandular epithelium. The epithelial cells are polyhedral in shape and possess rounded nuclei; many of the cells contain coarse granules, others lipoid globules. Owing to differences in the arrangement of the cells, three distinct zones can be made out: (1) the zona glomerulosa, situated beneath the capsule, consists of cells arranged in rounded groups, with here and there indications of an alveolar structure; the cells of this zone are very granular, and stain deeply. (2) The zona fasciculata, continuous with the zona glomerulosa, is composed of columns of cells arranged in a radial manner; these cells contain finer granules and in many instances globules of lipoid material. (3) The zona reticularis, in contact with the medulla, consists of cylindrical masses of cells irregularly arranged; these cells often contain pigment granules which give this zone a darker appearance than the rest of the cortex.
The medullary portion (substantia medullaris) is extremely vascular, and consists of large chromaphil cells arranged in a network. The irregular polyhedral cells have a finely granular cystoplasm that are probably concerned with the secretion of adrenalin. In the meshes of the cellular network are large anastomosing venous sinuses (sinusoids) which are in close relationship with the chromaphil or medullary cells. In many places the endothelial lining of the blood sinuses is in direct contact with the medullary cells. Some authors consider the endothelium absent in places and here the medullary cells are directly bathed by the blood. This intimate relationship between the chromaphil cells and the blood stream undoubtedly facilitates the discharge of the internal secretion into the blood. There is a loose meshwork of supporting connective tissue containing non-striped muscle fibers. This portion of the gland is richly supplied with non-medullated nerve fibers, and here and there sympathetic ganglia are found.
Vessels and Nerves.The arteries supplying the suprarenal glands are numerous and of comparatively large size; they are derived from the aorta, the inferior phrenic, and the renal. They subdivide into minute branches previous to entering the cortical part of the gland, where they break up into capillaries which end in the venous plexus of the medullary portion.
The suprarenal vein returns the blood from the medullary venous plexus and receives several branches from the cortical substance; it emerges from the hilum of the gland and on the right side opens into the inferior vena cava, on the left into the renal vein.
The lymphatics end in the lumbar glands.
The nerves are exceedingly numerous, and are derived from the celiac and renal plexuses, and, according to Bergmann, from the phrenic and vagus nerves. They enter the lower and medial part of the capsule, traverse the cortex, and end around the cells of the medulla. They have numerous small ganglia developed upon them in the medullary portion of the gland.
In connection with the development of the medulla from the sympathochromaffin tissue, it is to be noted that this portion of the gland secretes a substance, adrenalin, which has a powerful influence on those muscular tissues which are supplied by sympathetic fibers.