List of abbreviations
of micros-
specialist terms
explained in
English +

Every attempt was made to provide correct information and labelling, however any liability for eventual errors or incompleteness is rejected!

dieser Seite

Dr. med.
H. Jastrow

of use
Overview cell-to-cell contacts (Junctiones intercellulares):
Pages with explanations are linked to the text below the images if available! (Labelling is in German)
junctional complex 1
junctional complex 2
junctional complex with
desmosomes 3 (rat)
terminal web and inteme-
diate junction jejunum (rat)
junctional complexes close to
an acinus in pancreas (monkey)
junctional complex in vas-
cular endothelium (monkey)
duodenum: interdigita-
tions (monkey)
interdigitations pancreas
junctional complex with interdi-
gitations pancreas duct (rat)
macula + fascia 
fascia adhaerens zonulae adhaerentes
+ terminal web (monkey)
different cell-cell contacts in inter-
calated disk (heart, monkey)
detail: intercalated disk
heart (monkey)
tight-junction of the blood
liquor barrier (rat)
Tight junction = zonula
occludens (monkey)
= Nexus (rat)
gap-junction from inter-
calated disk (rat)
zonula occuldens + adhaerens
human pharyngeal tonsil 1
idem + terminal web
human pharyngeal tonsil 2
idem human
pharyngeal tonsil 3
Zonula occuldens et adhaerens
human pharyngeal tonsil 4
Zonula occuldens et adhaerens
human pharyngeal tonsil 5
(maculae adhaerentes, rat)
hemidesmosome, basallamina
ureter (monkey)
hemidesmosoms +inter-
mediate filaments (rat)
hemidesmosomes +
intermediate filaments 2
basal lamina in renal
filtration barrier (monkey)
stereo image of a nexus = gap-junction
pilar cell, organ of Corti (guinea pig)
zonula occludens
= tight-junction
tight junction basaliar
membrane (guinea pig)
desmosomes + attached inter-
mediate filaments skin (rat)
junctional complex between
intercalated duct cells (rat)

junctional complex or adhering junction (Terminologia histologica: Junctio adhaesionis), which manifests stable a connection between epithelial cells consists of (reagrded from the lumen): a tight-junction (Terminologia histologica: Zonula occludens) followed in short distance by an adhesive belt (Terminologia histologia: Zonula adhaerens) and one or more spot desmosomes (Terminologia histologia: Maculae adhaerentes). All substances that want to pass from the lumen above the epithelium to the connective tissue and its vessels below either have to be transported through the cell or much easier have to bypass them using the very small pores between the protein-protein connections of the tight-junctions.
Besides the structures of the junctional complex there are further cell-to-cell contacts. Information about them can be retrieved from the pages inked to their names: gap-junction = nexus; fascia adhaerens, interdigitations, hemidesmosomes (anchor to underlaying basement membrane and connective tissue) and cell contacts that serve for chemical signal transduction, i.e. synapses as well as neuromuscular junctions.
There are simple intercellular junctions (Terminologia histologica: Junctiones intercellulares simplices) where cells just lie side by side and denticulate intercellular junctions (Terminologia histologica: Junctiones intercellulares denticulatae) further those with deeper invaginations i.e., digitiform intercellular junctions also called interdigitations(Terminologia histologica: Junctiones intercellulares digitiformes). The complex intercellular junctions (Terminologia histologica: Junctiones intercellulares speciales) are even more complicated and present in the intercalated disks connecting heart muscle cells. They consist of interdigitations plus adhesive strips (Fasciae adhaerentes), spot desmosomes (Terminologia histologica: Maculae adhaerentes) and gap-junctions (Terminologia histologica: Maculae communicantes, Nexus).

--> interdigitations, gap junctions, belt desmosome, tight junctions, spot desmosomes, fascia adhaerens, epithelium
--> Electron microscopic atlas Overview
--> Homepage of the workshop

Some images were kindly provided by Prof. H. Wartenberg; other images, page & copyright H. Jastrow.