Fibrocartilage Histology and Difference among Three Types of Cartilage

Fibrocartilage is a special type of connective tissue intermediate between dense connective tissue and hyaline cartilage. In fibrocartilage histology, you will find the bundle of dense collagen fibers with a chain of chondrocytes. 

Hi dear histology learner, welcome back again to anatomylearner, and thanks for getting into this article – fibrocartilage histology with labeled diagram and slide pictures. I have published articles on hyaline cartilage histology and elastic cartilage histology previously. 

In this post, I will discuss what fibrocartilage is, the location of fibrocartilage, function of fibrocartilage, and the structure of fibrocartilage with slide pictures. 

After reading this post, you will differentiate among three types of cartilage histology features based on slide pictures. 

If you are interested in learning the fibrocartilage histology structure, you may continue this post. I will try to make it simple to understand the basics of fibrocartilage structure under a microscope. 

Fibrocartilage histology

In fibrocartilage histology, you will find the same structure (cells, fibers, and ground substances) that you have seen in others cartilage histology. Here, I will enlist the important structures you might identify from the fibrocartilage histology slide under a light microscope. 

  • #1. Single or isogenous group of chondrocytes in a row
  • #2. Nuclei of the chondrocytes of fibrocartilage structure 
  • #3. Dense collagen fiber in fibrocartilage matrix 
  • #4. Lacnae in the fibrocartilage matrix 
  • #5. Fibrocartilage matrix on the sample tissue 

Fine, now you might identify these structures from the fibrocartilage structure. 

Identification points of fibrocartilage slide 

Well, you may ask to identify the cartilage histology slide under a light microscope at the laboratory. If you want to make a difference among the three cartilage histology types, you might know the specific histological features of the three cartilage types. 

Here, I will provide the identification points for the fibrocartilage histology slide under a light compound microscope. 

#1. The sample tissue section shows the dense bundles of collagen fibers. 

#2. Presence of single or isogenous groups of chondrocytes between the bundles of collagen fibers. 

#3. All of the chondrocytes and the lacunae are almost similar in size in the sample tissue section.

#4. There is no perichondrium on the sample tissue section. 

So, this is the slide of fibrocartilage. If you want, you may also add other characteristics for fibrocartilage slide identification. 

Fibrocartilage histology structure

Fibrocartilage is also called white fibrocartilage. You might describe the cells and matrix (fibers and ground substances) in fibrocartilage structure. Now I am going to discuss fibrocartilage histology structure. 

Cells of fibrocartilage 

You know, fibrocartilage contains chondrocytes in the lacunae that are distributed within the matrix. Chondrocytes on fibrocartilage may occur in single or isogenous groups on the matrix. These chondrocytes are usually arranged in a long row that is separated by the bundle of collagen fibers. 

All the histological features of chondrocytes are similar to the chondrocytes of hyaline cartilage or elastic cartilage. You will find the similar size of chondrocytes and lacunae on the matrix in the fibrocartilage histology slide. 

Matrix of fibrocartilage histology 

The matrix of fibrocartilage histology structure fills with the bundles of dense collagen fibers. Again, the collagen fibers within the bundles show the parallel arrangements. But the bundles of dense collagen fibers may occur in different directions. 

The proportion of collagen fibers and cartilage matrix may vary with fibrocartilage structure. Again, the number of chondrocytes and their arrangements in the matrix also may vary. Usually, you will find the so dense collagen fibers and bundle on the matrix of the fibrocartilage histology slide. The collagen fibers of fibrocartilage structure mainly type I collagen fibers. 

You will not find the perichondrium on the fibrocartilage structure. The fibrocartilage usually occurs in the transitional area between the hyaline cartilage and tendon or ligament. 

Fibrocartilage location

You will find the fibrocartilage in the following organs or structures of an animal’s body – 

#1. On intervertebral disc 

#2. At pelvis symphysis joint of animals

#3. Menisci of the knee joint of animals

#4. Glenoid lumbar structure 

#5. At the structure of labrum acetabulare

Function of fibrocartilage 

Here, I will provide the most important functions of fibrocartilage. You may add other different functions of fibrocartilage. 

#1. The fibrocartilage could resist deformation under great stress. 

#2. This cartilage is important in attaching bone to bone and providing restricted mobility to the bone. 

#3. It is also responsible for reducing friction and serves as a cushion. 

The difference among hyaline, elastic, and fibrocartilage histology slide

If you want to make a difference among this hyaline cartilage, elastic cartilage, and fibrocartilage, then the previous article might help you. 

Here, I will provide the basic differences among three different types of cartilage. 

Matrix of cartilage – homogenous and glassy extracellular matrix on hyaline cartilage. You will find the thinner, branching, and anastomosing elastic fibers in the matrix in elastic cartilage. But in fibrocartilage, you will find the more dense collagen fibers bundles. 

Chondrocytes – chondrocytes present as isogenous group (cell nest) in the matrix of hyaline cartilage. You will find more prevalent large chondrocytes in the center of elastic cartilage. Again, in fibrocartilage, you will find a chain of chondrocytes between the bundles of dense collagen fibers. 

Perichondrium – you will find the perichondrium at the periphery of hyaline and elastic cartilage structure, but there is no perichondrium on fibrocartilage structure. 

Fibrocartilage histology slide drawing

Great, it’s time to draw the fibrocartilage histology slide images. I will share my simple fibrocartilage drawing with you. You might draw a better fibrocartilage structure by following the real slide under a light compound microscope. 

If you need more real fibrocartilage pictures, then you may follow anatomy leaner on social media here. Again, you might also read other different posts related to the histology of various organs or structures from the anatomy leaner blog. 

#1. Histological features of compact bone under light microscope and their identification points

#2. Histology of loose connective tissue under a light microscope with identifying points


This might be a perfect guide to learn fibrocartilage histology with real slide pictures and labeled diagrams. I hope you have learned the basics of fibrocartilage structure with anatomy learner. 

If you think this guide helps beginner histology learners, you may share it with your friends who are new to histology learning.

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