A Note on Hassall’s Corpuscles

  • Louis Kater
Part of the Contemporary Topics in Immunobiology book series (CTI, volume 2)


Hassall’s corpuscles were first described in the human thymus by the English microscopist Arthur Hill Hassall in 1846. The corpuscles, a distinctive feature of the medulla of the mammalian thymus, are rounded epithelial structures which vary in diameter from 30 μ to over 100 μ. They are composed of eosinophilic epithelial cells with pale, elongated nuclei. The cells are arranged concentrically, and the inner parts are often degenerate. Organized cell nuclei may disappear, leaving occasional chromatin granules; hyalinization and calcification are sometimes seen. Small cysts may develop which contain granulocytes and lymphocytes. The edge of each Hassall’s corpuscle appears to be in close contact with epithelial cells in the surrounding medulla.


Tetanus Toxoid Thymic Epithelial Cell Human Thymus Thymic Epithelium Medullary Epithelial Cell 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louis Kater
    • 1
  1. 1.Pathologisch InstituutRijksuniversiteit UtrechtThe Netherlands

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