This collection helps dental students prepare for the Dental Board exam in histology and oral histology part

Study Set Content:
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Board Question Breakdown 

(Anatomic Sciences section)

The Anatomic Sciences portion of part I of the Dental Board exams consists of 100 test items.
They are broken up into the following distribution:

Gross Anatomy 

(50 questions):


 - 28 questions broken down in this fashion:

Oral cavity 

- 6 questions

Extraoral structures 

- 12 questions


 - 6 questions

TMJ and muscles of mastication 

- 4 questions


 - 5 questions

Upper Limb 

- 3 questions

Thoracic cavity 

- 5 questions

Abdominopelvic cavity 

- 2 questions


 (CNS, ANS +) - 7 questions

Basic Histology 

(23 questions):


 (cell organelles) - 4 questions

Basic tissues 

- 4 questions

Bone, cartilage & joints 

- 3 questions

Lymphatic & circulatory systems 

- 3 questions

Endocrine system 

- 2 questions

Respiratory system 

- 1 question

Gastrointestinal system 

- 3 questions

Genitouirinary systems 

- (reproductive & urinary) 2 questions


 - 1 question

Oral Histology 

(16 questions):

Tooth & supporting structures 

- 9 questions

Soft oral tissues 

(including dentin) - 5 questions

Temporomandibular joint 

- 2 questions

Developmental Biology 

(11 questions):


 (bone formation) - 2 questions

Tooth development

, eruption & movement - 4 questions

General embryology 

- 2 questions

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National Board Part 1:  Review questions for histology/oral histology

(Answers follow at the end)

1. Normally most of the circulating white blood cells are

a. basophilic leukocytes
b. monocytes
c. lymphocytes
d. eosinophilic leukocytes
e. neutrophilic leukocytes

2. Blood platelets are products of

a. osteoclasts
b. basophils
c. red blood cells
d. plasma cells
e. megakaryocytes

3. Bacteria are frequently ingested by

a. neutrophilic leukocytes
b. basophilic leukocytes
c. mast cells
d. small lymphocytes
e. fibrocytes

4. It is believed that worn out red cells are normally destroyed in the spleen by

a. neutrophils
b. macrophages
c. megakaryocytes
d. monocytes
e. mast cells

5. Which of the following does not exhibit phagocytic properties?

a. monocytes
b. basophils
c. platelets
d. eosinophils
e. PMN's (PMLs)


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6. The circulating white blood cells which are fewest in number are the

a. monocytes
b. neutrophils
c. basophils
d. lymphocytes
e. eosinophils

7. Myelopoiesis refers to the formation of

a. erythrocytes, granulocytes and agranulocytes
b. erythrocytes only
c. mononuclear cells only
d. both erythrocytes and granulocytes
e. neutrophilic leukocytes only

8. The largest cell typically present in bone marrow is the

a. megakaryocyte
b. fixed reticular cell
c. myeloblast
d. proerythroblast
e. reticulocyte

9. Long bone grows in length as a result of

a. removal of calcified cartilage
b. endochondral deposition of bone tissue
c. interstitial growth of cartilage tissue
d. appositional deposition of bone tissue
e. interstitial growth of bone tissue

10. Which one of the following tissues is reduced in amount during the termination of the

growth of an individual?


a. fibrocartilage
b. elastic cartilage
c. lamellar bone
d. cancellous bone
e. hyaline cartilage

11. Sharpey's fibers represent

a. the innervation of the bone tissue
b. periosteal fibers
c. sharp spines of the stratum spinosum cells
d. collagen(ic) fibers attaching tendons and ligaments to bone
e. collagen(ic) fibers binding lamellae together

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12. Which of the following would be least evident during adolescence?

a. lamellar bone
b. parallel-fibered bone
c. primary vascular canals
d. secondary vascular canals
e. woven bone

13. The oldest lamella of a Haversian system (osteon) is

a. the most peripheral lamella
b. not calcified
c. the most central lamella
d. adjacent to endosteum
e. adjacent to periosteum

14. In a slide showing spongy bone formed solely by intramembranous ossification, all of the

following features may be found upon microscopic examination except


a. non-lamellar bone
b. osteoclasts
c. lamellar bone
d. calcified cartilage
e. periosteum

15. Demineralized bone consists chiefly of

a. sialic acid and other mucopolysaccharides
b. osteoid
c. amorphous hydroxyapatite
d. canaliculi and lacunae
e. collagen

16. The formation of bone in the absence of a pre-existing cartilage framework is called

a. nonlamellar
b. lamellar
c. intramembranous
d. intercartilaginous
e. endochondral


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17. Which one of the following is a correct statement concerning Haversian systems



a. are found in fetal skeletons
b. are found in spongy bone
c. develop around Volkman's canals
d. develop around a blood vessel
e. are most common during rapid growth of adolescence

18. Osteoclasts arise from

a. osteocytes
b. osteoblasts
c. osteoclasts
d. monocytes
e. osteoprogenitor cells

19. Osteocytes arise most directly from

a. chondrocytes
b. osteoblasts
c. osteoclasts
d. monocytes
e. osteoprogenitor cells

20. Fibrocartilage is characterized at the light microscopic level by

a. basophilia
b. elastic fibers
c. perichondrium
d. collagen(ic) fibers
e. mineralized matrix

21. The microscopic structure of certain parts of the temporomandibular joint differs from

corresponding parts of most other articulations of the human body. One such
difference is that the articulating surfaces of the TMJ are


a. bone
b. elastic cartilage
c. vascular
d. fibrous tissue
e. hyaline cartilage


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22. In which of the following regions of the temporomandibular joint would you most expect

to find phagocytes?


a. synovial membrane
b. central region of meniscus
c. joint capsule
d. articular tissue
e. synovial cavity

23. The periodontal ligament is composed chiefly of

a. reticular fibers
b. microfibrils
c. collagen(ic) fibers
d. oxytalan fibers
e. elastic fibers

24. All of the following are associated with cartilage tissue except

a. appositional growth
b. perichondrium
c. lamellae
d. chondroitin sulfate
e. interstitial growth

25. Chondrocytes receive their nutrition via

a. capillaries in matrix
b. Haversian canals
c. diffusion through matrix
d. periosteal buds
e. canaliculi

26. The most common cell in connective tissue proper is the

a. mast cell
b. lymphocyte
c. macrophage
d. fibroblast
e. fat cell

27. The most common amino acid of collagen(ic) fibers is

a. proline
b. hydroxyproline
c. glycine
d. lysine
e. alanine

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 28. The presence of which one of the following characteristics is of least value in

distinguishing bone from hyaline cartilage?


a. lamellae
b. cell nests
c. Haversian canals
d. lacunae
e. canaliculi

29. Which one of the following cells would be best for the study of lysosomes?

a. fibroblasts
b. macrophages
c. mast cells
d. mesenchymal cells
e. fat cells

30. Heparin is produced by

a. mast cells
b. macrophages
c. lymphocytes
d. plasma cells
e. hepatocytes

31. All of the following have ribosomes attached to them except

a. nuclear envelope
b. tRNA
c. endoplasmic reticulum
d. each other
e. phagosomes

32. Which one of the following parts of a cell lacks a bounding memberane?

a. nucleolus
b. endoplasmic reticulum
c. lysosomes
d. Golgi complex
e. nucleus

33. The electron dense layers of cell membranes are biochemically identified as

a. carbohydrate
b. glycolipid
c. sialic acid
d. phospholipid-protein complex
e. interphase between lipid layers

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34. Intracellular digestion is a chief function of the

a. Golgi apparatus
b. endoplasmic reticulum
c. lysosomes
d. residual bodies
e. mitochondria

35. Which one of the following structures is visible in the light microscope?

a. mitochondrion
b. ribosomes
c. tight junction
d. smooth endoplasmic reticulum
e. plasma membrane

36. The basal body of a cilium has a tubular filament  arrangement which is identical to the

pattern found in


a. microvilli
b. centrioles
c. spindle fibers
d. stereocilia
e. microtubules

37. Which one of the following junctions is characterized by the fusion of the outer leaflets of

the cell membranes of adjacent cells?


a. zonula adherens
b. desmosomes
c. macula adherens
d. gap junctions
e. tight junctions (zonula occludens)

38. Cytoplasmic basophilia is characteristic of cells that

a. are actively producing steroid hormones
b. have abundant DNA in the cytoplasm
c. are in the S stage
d. are synthesizing large amounts of protein
e. exhibit a conspicuous Golgi complex


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39. The exocrine cells secrete all of the following except

a. amylase
b. gastrin
c. prochymotrypsin
d. lipase
e. protrypsin

40. Bile is formed by

a. sinusoidal endothelium
b. stromal cells
c. lymphocytes
d. (von) Kupffer cells
e. hepatic cells (hepatocytes)

41. The esophagus is subdivided into three portions along its course on the basis of a

transition in the composition of the


a. submucosa
b. mucosal layer
c. adventitia
d. muscularis externa
e. none of the above

42. Plicae circularis (valves of Kerkring) are present in

a. stomach
b. ileum
c. duodenum
d. jejunum
e. all but the stomach

43. The epithelium of the gallbladder is composed of

a. simple columnar epithelium
b. psuedostratified epithelium
c. ciliated columnar epithelium
d. stratified squamous epithelium
e. simple squamous epithelium

44. Which of the following lacks goblet cells?

a. nasal cavity
b. ileum
c. trachea
d. esophagus
e. vermiform appendix

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45. Which one of the following has skeletal muscle in the muscularis externa?

a. colon
b. appendix
c. stomach
d. esophagus
e. small intestine

46. The submucosal plexus (Meissner's plexus) contains cell bodies of

a. preganglionic parasympathetic neurons
b. postganglionic sympathetic neurons
c. postganglionic parasympathetic neurons
d. preganglionic sympathetic neurons
e. none of the above

47. Goblet cells are most numerous in the walls of the

a. villi
b. gastric glands
c. crypts of Lieberkuhn (intestinal glands) in the ileum
d. crypts of Lieberkuhn (intestinal glands) in the duodenum
e. crypts of Lieberkuhn (intestinal glands) in the colon

48. In humans, the lining epithelium of the esophagus is

a. transitional
b. simple columnar
c. stratified squamous, keratinized
d. stratified squamous, non-keratinized
e. stratified cuboidal

49. Pancreatic alpha cells secrete

a. glucagon
b. insulin
c. somatostatin
d. gastrin
e. pancreatic digestive enzymes

50. Endothelium and mesothelium form cellular membranes which have the same histologic

structure as
a. stratified cuboidal epithelium
b. simple columnar epithelium
c. simple cuboidal epithelium
d. stratified squamous epithelium
e. simple squamous epithelium

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51. Which one of the following epithelia is least common?

a. transitional
b. pseudostratified columnar (ciliated)
c. simple columnar
d. stratified columnar
e. simple squamous

52. The broadest basis for classifying epithelium into subgroups is

a. keratinized or not keratinized
b. squamous, cuboidal or columnar
c. simple or stratified
d. absorptive or secretory
e. lining or glandular

53. Regarding simple columnar epithelium which statement is least descriptive?

a. may be keratinized
b. may exhibit a microvillous border
c. the height of each cell is typically greater than its width
d. may have motile cilia
e. may contain goblet cells

54. Which of the following features is NOT characteristic of epithelium?

a. is usually supported by a basement membrane
b. little intercellular space
c. high cellularity
d. highly vascular
e. b, c, and d are all incorrect

55. Glands are classified based on

a. their secretory product
b. mode of secretion
c. branching pattern of the ducts
d. b and c are correct
e. a, b, and c are correct

56. The human dermis lacks which of the following?

a. reticular layer
b. sweat glands
c. melanin
d. hair follicles
e. sensory corpuscles


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57. Keratohyalin is found in the

a. hyaline cartilage
b. stratum granulosum
c. stratum lucidum
d. stratum corneum
e. stratum reticularis

58. Thin skin lacks which of the following?

a. stratum corneum
b. stratum reticularis
c. nerve receptors
d. sweat glands
e. hair

59. Cords of Billroth are found in the

a. white pulp
b. spleen
c. lymph nodes
d. tonsils
e. thymus

60. A subcapsular sinus is typically present in this structure

a. thymus
b. synovial joint
c. spleen
d. liver
e. lymph node

61. Diffuse (loose) type of lymphatic tissue is characteristically found 

a. in mesenteries
b. in the axilla and groin
c. in lymph nodes
d. along major lymphatic vessels
e. underlying mucous membranes

62. B-cells (lymphocytes) can

a. not be mobilized by vigorous exercise
b. give rise to plasma cells
c. secrete interferon
d. kill other cells
e. suppress T-cells


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63. The most prominent component of a skeletal muscle cell is

a. mitochondria
b. Golgi complex
c. myoglobin
d. myofilaments
e. glycogen

64. Caveolae in smooth muscle cells are thought to be analogous to

a. lysosomes
b. secretory vesicles
c. T-tubules
d. pinocytotic vesicles
e. phagosomes

65. The thick filaments of skeletal muscle fibers

a. consist of both actin and myosin
b. are present in the A band
c. consist of actin
d. are crossed by the Z line
e. are present in the I bands

66. The contractile element (component) of skeletal muscle is in the

a. myofibrils
b. sarcoplasmic reticulum
c. sarcolemma
d. endomysium
e. sarcoplasm

67. The connective tissue investment seen with the light microscope around an individual

muscle fiber of skeletal muscle is


a. endomysium
b. epimysium
c. sarcolemma
d. perimysium
e. basal lamina

68. A node of Ranvier is

a. the point of near-contact between the processes of two neurons
b. characteristic of unmyelinated fibers
c. a constriction of the axon
d. a nerve receptor
e. a junction between two Schwann cells

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69. Most of the nuclei seen in a cross section of a peripheral nerve belong to

a. microglia
b. neurons
c. Schwann cells
d. fibroblasts
e. satellite cells

70. Pacinian corpuscles usually are considered to be most responsive to

a. light touch
b. pressure
c. pain
d. heat
e. cold

71. The cells that are responsible for forming myelin in the central nervous system are the

a. Schwann cells
b. satellite cells
c. microglia
d. astroglia
e. oligodendroglia

72. Nissl substance in nerve cell bodies is associated with

a. spread of stimulus
b. synaptic junctions
c. axons
d. protein synthesis
e. myelin formation

73. A myelinated nerve has how many Schwann cells between two adjacent nodes of Ranvier?

a. one
b. two
c. three
d. four
e. more than four

74. The walls of bronchioles lack

a. elastic tissue
b. columnar epithelium
c. smooth muscle
d. hyaline cartilage
e. ciliated cells


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75. The probable source of surface active material (surfactant)  coating the alveolar surface is

a. goblet cells
b. small alveolar cells (type I orA pneumocytes)
c. great alveolar cells (type II or B pneumocytes)
d. Clara cells
e. septal cells

76. The structural/functional unit of the respiratory system is

a. a terminal bronchiole and its branches
b. an alveolus
c. a bronchopulmonary segment
d. an alveolar duct and its branches
e. a respiratory bronchiole and its branches

77. Smooth endoplasmic reticulum would be expected to be most abundant in

a. steroid secreting cells
b. fibroblasts
c. mucous secreting cells
d. serous secreting cells
e. rubriblasts

78. A uriniferous tubule (nephron) includes all of the following except

a. glomerulus
b. Bowman's capsule
c. juxtaglomerular apparatus
d. basal lamina (basement membrane)
e. podocytes

79. Juxtaglomerular cells are modified

a. distal tubule cells
b. proximal tubule cells
c. efferent arteriole cells
d. macula densa cells
e. afferent arteriole cells

80. The macula densa of the kidney is formed by cells of the

a. afferent arteriole
b. distal convoluted tubule
c. descending thick part of Henle's loop
d. proximal convoluted tubule
e. thin portion of Henle's loop

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81. The majority of water resorption in the kidney occurs in the

a. connecting tubules
b. Thin loop of Henle
c. distal convoluted tubules
d. proximal convoluted tubules
e. collecting tubules

82. All of the following regarding podocytes is correct except 

a. line part of the capsular space
b. produce basal lamina
c. possess pedicles
d. form part of the blood-urinary barrier
e. are joined to one another by tight junctions

83. Pericytes are commonly found in association with

a. sinusoids
b. lymphatic capillaries
c. discontinuous capillaries
d. fenestrated capillaries
e. continuous capillaries

84. Which of the following components of blood vessels is most consistently present?

a. endothelium
b. tunica media
c. tunica adventitia
d. elastic tissue
e. smooth muscle fibers

85. Which one of the following vessels exhibits the greatest permeability?

a. continuous type of capillaries
b. lymph capillaries
c. fenestrated capillaries
d. postcapillary venules
e. fenestrated sinusoids

86. This cell is associated with osteoid secretion

a. bone lining cell
b. osteoblast
c. osteoclast
d. monocyte
e. fibroblast


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87. This cell is responsible for the majority of bone resoprtion/remodeling

a. bone lining cell
b. osteoblast
c. osteoclast
d. monocyte
e. fibroblast

88. This portion of the hypophysis (pituitary gland) releases no known hormones

a. pars distalis
b. pars intermedia
c. pars nervosa
d. pars tuberalis
e. they all secrete hormones

89. Pituicytes are glial-like cells of the

a. pars distalis
b. pars intermedia
c. pars nervosa
d. pars tuberalis
e. pineal gland

90. Oxytocin is a hormone secreted by cells of the

a. pars distalis
b. pars intermedia
c. pars nervosa
d. pars tuberalis
e. uterus

91. Calcitonin is secreted by these specific cells

a. chromophils
b. interstitial cells (of Leydig)
c. basophils
d. principal cells of the thyroid
e. parafollicular cells of the thyroid

92. Colloid is a substance associated with which of the following endocrine organs?

a. suprarenal (adrenal) glands
b. thyroid gland
c. testis
d. ovary
e. pineal gland


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93. Melanin is released by which of the following cells?

a. chief cells of the parathyroid
b. interstitial cells (of Leydig)
c. cells of the zona reticularis of the suprarenal gland
d. pinealocytes
e. parafollicular cells of the thyroid gland

94. High blood calcium levels cause calcitonin release from which of the following cells?

a. chief cells of the parathyroid
b. interstitial cells (of Leydig)
c. cells of the zona reticularis of the suprarenal gland
d. pinealocytes
e. parafollicular cells of the thyroid gland

95. Which of the following cells manufacture and release mineralocorticoids?

a. cells of the zona glomerulosa
b. cells of the zona reticularis
c. cells of the zona fasciculata
d. chromaffin cells
e. sympathetic ganglion cells of the medulla

96. These cells are responsible for secreting testosterone

a. cells of the zona glomerulosa
b. chromaffin cells
c. Chief cells of the parathryoid
d. interstitial cells (of Leydig)
e. Sertoli cells

97. Which of the following is found within a lobule of the testis?

a. efferent ductules
b. rete testis
c. ductus deferens
d. epididymis
e. seminifereous tubules

98. Which of the following is an intratesticular genital duct?

a. efferent ductules
b. tubuli recti
c. ductus deferens
d. ductus epididymis
e. prostatic urethra

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99. These are 10 to 20 short tubules that drain spermatozoa from the rete testis

a. efferent ductules
b. tubuli recti
c. ductus deferens
d. ductus epididymis
e. prostatic urethra

100. Which of the following secretes a fructose-rich fluid into the ejaculate?

a. prostate
b. seminal vesicles
c. ductus deferens
d. bulbourethral (Cowper's) glands
e. glands of Litre

101. A mucoid secretion from this gland lubricates the spongy/penile urethral lumen

a. prostate
b. seminal vesicles
c. ductus deferens
d. bulbourethral (Cowper's) glands
e. glands of Litre

102. Secretion of this material identifies a secondary (antral) follicle of the ovary

a. colloid
b. liquor follicluli
c. estrogen
d. progesterone
e. cumulus oophorus

103. The following structure results when pregnancy does not follow ovulation

a. corpus luteum of menstruation
b. cumulus oophorus
c. theca externa
d. theca lutein
e. corpus albicans

104. This layer of the uterus is shed monthly in menstruating females

a. myometrium
b. functionalis layer of endometrium
c. basalis layer of endometrium
d. cervical epithelium
e. epimetrium


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105. The vagina is lined by this specific type of epithelium

a. transitional
b. stratified squamous keratinizing
c. stratified squamous non-keratinizing
d. pseudostratified columnar
e. stratified cuboidal

106. When a tooth first erupts into the oral cavity, the attached epithelial cuff is composed of

epithelium derived from


a. lamina propria
b. epithelial rests (of Malassez)
c. (Hertwig's) epithelial root sheath
d. oral mucosa
e. reduced enamel epithelium

107. Tritiated thymidine is a radioisotope that is incorporated into DNA during the s-stage.

Consequently, tritiated thymidine may be used to identify dividing cells. Which cells
of the dental organ would you expect would incorporate tritiated thymidine? Cells
whose function is


a. organizing
b. maturation
c. morphogenic
d. protection
e. secretory

108. Which one of the following is a part of the tooth germ (dental/enamel organ)?

a. inner dental epithelium
b. dental sac
c. dental papilla
d. stellate reticulum
e. dental lamina

109. Avitaminosis (scurvey) results in a loosening of the teeth in the sockets chiefly because

ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is needed by


a. osteoblasts to form bone
b. cells to produce collagen
c. odontoblasts to form dentin
d. cells to fight viruses
e. cementoblasts to form cementum


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