Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



Nutrition is the earliest and most constant of vital operations. So prominent is the nutritive apparatus of an animal that the animal has been likened to a moving sac, organized to convert foreign matter into its own likeness, to which the complex organs of animal life are but auxiliaries. In growth more material is used by the body-protoplasm that is expelled. Nutrition includes excretion i.e. the removal of spent material which is usually poisonous and which if allowed to remain in the body organism would impair nutrition in its fullest sense. The objects of nutrition are growth, repair, and propogation. The amount of matter expelled from the body must be equaled by the amount of nourishment taken into the body in order to make these objects possible, and if from any course the nutrition is impaired, the animal tissue suffers. This impairment of nutrition may be the result of general anaemia of the body or it may be the result of an injury to the nutritive nerves; or directly an injury to the blood vessels which bring the necessary supply of blood to the part undergoing a change from its normal structure. Disordered nutrition so far as it concerns new formations is still little known chemically; so much the more has attention been turned to histological changes. If the nutrition is incomplete, the normal form and function and form are more or less lost, and thus we atrophy, infiltration, and degeneration. In atrophy the tissues merely decrease in size. In the so called “fatty infiltration” the latest authorities on pathology hold that there is no real fatty infiltration, but that all fat is incorporated in making protoplasm and that all fat is a product of the protoplasm of the body which stores it. When the particles of fat in cell degeneration become numerous they coalesce, and if the cellular structure becomes destroyed what is known as “fatty infiltration” results. The theory that calcium is an infiltration is also very well disproven by later authorities on pathology. The calcium compounds in the body are believed to have been derived by the action of a protoplasm cell. The cell select combine, build, and tear down. A foreign substance as coal dust, etc. finds lodgment in lymph spaces and nodules. This may be correctly considered as infiltration. In degeneration proper of the tissues the tissues are transformed into other shapes and material. According to Hamilton “A degeneration is any process whereby a cell element or tissue undergoes such molecular changes that it can no longer maintain its functional activity, and either separates into its organic constituents or gives rise to the formation of a new product at the expense of its own substance.” Of the causes of degeneration but little can be said in general way, the various forms depending for the most part upon different conditions. All may be said to cause in some way by some error in nutrition. This error may be brought about in different ways. The principle degenerations are the fatty and amyloid. Other degenerations noticed by leading authors are cloudy-swelling, mucoid, colloid, hyaline, pigmentary, and caseous. These may be independent or may be associated. Each form will be taken up and discussed by itself.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Histology - Pathological



Number of Pages



South Dakota State College


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