Type of Article:  Original Research

Volume 8; Issue 1.1 (January 2020)

Page No.: 7241-7246

DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.16965/ijar.2019.348


Vaishali Sitaram Kirwale 1, Shankar S. Dhapate *2.

1 Assistant Professor,Department of Anatomy, Government Medical College , Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India.

*2 Professor and Head, Department of Anatomy, S.R.T.R Medical College,  Ambajogai , Beed, Maharashtra, India.

Corresponding Athor: Dr. Shankar S.  Dhapate  , Professor and Head, Department of Anatomy, S.R.T.R Medical College Ambajogai, Beed, Maharashtra, India. E-Mail:  anasrtr@rediffmail.com


Introduction: The thymus is a primary lymphoid organ. It is a bilobed structure divided into lobules by the connective tissue septa. Each lobule consists of a cortex and medulla. Most of the studies regarding early foetal histology of this organ are animal based. The present study has been undertaken to highlight some features regarding histogenesis of human foetal thymus.

Materials and Methods: In the present study, 30 normal human stillborn/aborted foetuses were studied. The obtained foetuses were fixed in 10% formalin. After proper fixation they were subjected to dissection. The obtained specimens were processed by standard paraffin block making procedure. Sections were taken and stained with haematoxylin & eosin. The stained sections were examined under light microscopy using 10x and 40x optical magnifications and photographs taken.

Results: At 12th week, capsule was thin and cortico-medullary differentiation not much prominent. Epithelial cells and lymphocytes were present. Hassall’s corpuscles were very small and immature. Distinct lobulation was seen at 18th week with well differentiated cortex and medulla. The gland became more distinct from 21stweek onwards with increased number of Hassall’s corpuscles of various types. 29 week onwards the thymus gland revealed an adult histological picture.

Conclusion: All structural changes viz cortico-medullary differentiation, lobulation and maturity of Hassall’s corpuscles occurred within the first 18 weeks of gestation.

KEY WORDS: Thymus, Hassall’s corpuscle.


  1. Ajita RK, Naranbabu Singh T H, Ibochouba Singh Y, Chandramani Singh L. An insight into the structure of the thymus in human foetus – a histological approach. J. Anat. Soc. India. 2006; 55 (1): 45-49.
  2. Krishna Murthy, V.Subadra Devi. Morphological features of human thymus gland from foetal to old age. International journal of biological and medical research. 2010; 3(2):1502-1505.
  3. Raica M, Encica S, Motoc A, Cimpean AM, Scridon T, Barsan. Structural heterogeneity and immunohistochemical profile of Hassall’s corpuscles in normal human thymus. Ann Anat 2006; 188: 345-52.
  4. Ghali WM, Abdel-Rahman S, Nagib M and Mahran ZY. Intrinsic innervations and vasculature of pre-and post natal human thymus. Acta Anat.1980; 108: 115-123.
  5. Haar JL. Light and electron microscopy of the human fetal thymus. Anat.       1974;179:463-467.
  6. Varga I, Pospisilova V, Jablonska-Mestanova, Galfiova P, Polak S. The thymus: Picture review of human thymus prenatal development. Bratisi Lek Listy. 2011;112(7):368-376.
  7. Krishnamurthy JV, Subhadra Devi V, Vsudeva Reddy Developmental Histology of Human Foetal Thymuses at Different Gestational Ages. J of Evolution of Med and Dent Sci. 2015; 4(40): 6944-9653.
  8. Lobach DF and Haynes BF. Ontogeny of the human thymus during fetal development.Journal of clinical immunology.1987; (7):81-97.
  9. Von Gaudecker B: Functional histology of the human thymus. Anat Embryol (Berl) 1991; 183(1): 1-15.
  10. Hamilton WJ, Boyd, Mossman HW. Human embryology. 4th London: The Macmillan Press Ltd.; 1972. p. 326-349.
  11. William et al PL, Bennister LH, Berry MM, Collins P, Dyson M, Dussek JE, Ferguson MW. Haemolymphoid System In: Gray’s Anatomy 38th ELBS with Churchill Livingstone. London, 1995; 1423-1431.
  12. Hayward AR. Myoid cells in the human fetal thymus. J. 1972; 106: 45-48.
  13. Adil asghar, syed yunus M, Nafis Faruqi A. Polymorphism of Hassall’s corpuscles in thymus of human fetuses. International journal of Applied and Basic Medical Research. 2012; 2(1):7-10.
  14. Bloom W, Fawcett DW. A textbook of Histology; The Thymus. 9th WB Saunders company publisher Philadelphia and London; 1994.p.417-427.
  15. Glihus NE, Matre R and Tonder O. Hassal’s corpuscles in the thymus of foetuses, infants and children: immunological and histochemical aspects Thymus.1985; 7(2):123-135.
  16. Sawant SP. Development of thymus. Abstract in: Journal Of Anatomical society of India.2003;52 (1).

Cite this article: Vaishali Sitaram Kirwale, Shankar S. Dhapate. HISTOGENESIS OF HUMAN FOETAL THYMUS. Int J Anat Res 2020;8(1.1):7241-7246. DOI: 10.16965/ijar.2019.348