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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 55-60

Analytical study of Kala Sharir on the principles of histology


Department of Rachana Sharir, North Eastern Institute of Ayurveda and Homoeopathy, Shillong, Meghalaya, India

Date of Submission09-Sep-2020
Date of Decision20-Sep-2020
Date of Acceptance26-Sep-2020
Date of Web Publication26-Mar-2021

Correspondence Address:
Gaurav Soni
Department of Rachana Sharir, North Eastern Institute of Ayurveda and Homoeopathy, Shillong - 793 018, Meghalaya
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/joa.joa_69_20

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  Abstract 


Background: Susrutha Samhita is the earliest treasure of anatomical concepts which illustrates the structures on both gross and microscopic levels. Susrutha has systematically described the process of dissection. This process of dissection gave a glimpse of all the body structures to Susrutha; which he dictated in further chapters of Sharir Sthana (a subunit related, especially with the description of anatomy) and other places wherever required. Several concepts are so unique to Susrutha that he is quoted as it in further hierarchal compendiums. Kala Sharir is one of such topics which despite the fact is being a miniscule structure, is described with supreme authority with location, enumeration, examples, and clinical utility. The exact efficacy of Gyan Chaksu (intellectual visualization) and Upmana Pramana (comparative tools) can be seen in the description of Kala Sharir, which after centuries and series of discoveries of the microscope has got its place in now days world as a separate entity of epithelium/tissue/membrane in histology, a subunit of anatomy. Objective: The objective was to study and analyze the structural entity and utility of Kala Sharir, in the illumination of the knowledge of contemporary histology. Data Source: Kala related literature from classical texts such as Susrutha Samhita, Ashtanga Sangraha, Ashtanga Hridaya, Bhavprakasha, and Sharangdhar Samhita. Histological texts of contemporary anatomy, journals, articles, internet material, and previous research papers related to these subjects. Review Methods: All the literature related to Kala Sharir is reviewed by comparing and analyzing the different meanings and thoughts of classical as well as contemporary authors. A separate analysis of commentaries on classical texts is done for better understanding. Results and Conclusion: The concept of Kala Sharir has here been studied analytically in the radiance of histology to understand its utility in clinics and understanding in contemporary view.

Keywords: Histology, Kala Sharir, membrane


How to cite this article:
Soni G. Analytical study of Kala Sharir on the principles of histology. J Ayurveda 2021;15:55-60

How to cite this URL:
Soni G. Analytical study of Kala Sharir on the principles of histology. J Ayurveda [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Apr 13];15:55-60. Available from: http://www.journayu.in/text.asp?2021/15/1/55/311920




  Introduction Top


Susrutha Samhita is the earliest treasure of anatomical concepts which illustrates the structures on both gross and microscopic levels. Susrutha has described the process of dissection in a systematic manner describing the selection of body, preservation as well as the process of dissection respectively.[1] This process of dissection gave a glimpse of all the body structures to Susrutha; which he dictated in further chapters of Sharir Sthana (a subunit related, especially with the description of anatomy) and other places wherever required. He used the terminology which was prevalent at the time basically on the physical appearance, measurement, or quantity and has aptly given example where ever it is difficult to visualize mentally. The sequence of structures is correctly described like first of all the external layer, i.e., Twak (skin), Kala (membranes), etc.[2]

Several concepts are so unique to Susrutha that he has quoted it in further hierarchal compendiums. Kala Sharir is one of such topics which despite the fact being a miniscule structure, is described with supreme authority with location, enumeration, examples, and clinical utility. The exact efficacy of Gyan Chaksu (intellectual visualization) and Upmana Pramana (comparative tools) can be seen in the description of Kala Sharir, which after centuries and series of discoveries of the microscope has got its place in now today's world as a separate entity of epithelium/tissue/membrane in histology, a subunit of anatomy.

Aim

The study aimed to study and analyze the structural entity and utility of Kala Sharir, in the illumination of the knowledge of contemporary histology.


  Materials and Methods Top


Kala Sharir related literature from classical texts such as Susrutha Samhita, Ashtanga Sangraha, Ashtanga Hridaya, Bhavprakasha, and Sharangdhar Samhita. Reviewing of contemporary anatomical literature, especially focusing on histology, journals, articles, internet material, and previous research papers related to these subjects.

Literary review

Kala is the term that is used in various meanings in classical texts meaning from the indistinct, unit of time, minute, membrane, etc., in the context of Sharir, it can be taken as a minute/membranous structure. Susrutha has described it after Twak in Garbha Vyakarana Adhayaya which illustrates minute structures in the sequence of organogenesis. The topic is supported with different examples from the environment/lifestyle to illuminate the idea and structure. Dalhana, the brilliant commentator of the compendium, also discusses different logical concepts and tries to give an exact explanation.

Kala is a thin membranous entity, which lines the internal cavity of the Ashayas (the organs that hold the vital elements), blood vessels, and fibrous capsules of the joints, and so on. The Kala separates the Dhatu (vital elements) and Ashaya.[3] The Ashaya is the cavity that gives Ashraya (holds) to the Dosha, Dhatu, and Mala (waste products of the body).[4] The Dhatu resides in Ashaya, and the inner lining of the Ashaya is called as Kala. The concept is exemplified by a cross-section log of wood; showing its internal structures with its different layers and parts. In the same way, we have to cut the superficial layer of Mamsa (flesh) to reveal the Dhatu. It means that Dhatu are principal factors of our body and they are located deeply. We have to incise the coverings, i.e., Kala to reveal these Dhatus.

The process of formation of Dhatu takes place in many stages, in the initial stage; Dhatu is in the form of liquid which is called Dhaturasa. This Dhaturasa gets converted into the next Dhatu. During this process, some Kleda remains between Dhatu and Aashay. This Kleda, i.e., Dhatusara Shesh or Dhaturasa Vishesh is not converted into Purva (previous) Dhatu or Uttar Dhatu which remains in very less quantity; due to minimum quantity, they are called Kala. Kala is covered by a muscular layer, spread as a membranous structure (Snayu), like an amniotic membrane (Jarayu), and smeared with Shleshma (mucus).[5] All these three structures may or may not necessarily be present in each Kala, even one or two of the above-mentioned structures may be found existing in the Kala.

  • Snayu signifies - structural support
  • Jarayu signifies - barrier/selective permeability
  • Shleshma signifies - lubrication and nutrition.


In the description of how the Visa moves from one Kala to another; Susurtha has used the term Asthidhara Kala and Majjadhara Kala in place of Purishadhara Kala and Pittadhara Kala, respectively. There itself he clarifies that it is not against the text to call them Asthi/Pursiha or Pitta/Majja Kala as the symptoms produced may be linked together.[6] The classical review about Kala is summarized in a tabulated manner in [Table 1].[7]
Table 1: Classical description of Kala Sharir with examples

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Historical review on membrane/coverings

The layer that covers the body surfaces is termed as epithelium. Based on the genesis, epithelia are derived from all three layers, i.e., ectoderm, endoderm, and mesoderm of the early embryo. The epidermis, glandular tissue of the breast, cornea, and the junctional zones of the buccal cavity and anal canal is derived from the ectoderm. The epithelial lining of the alimentary canal and its glands, most of the respiratory tract, and the distal parts of the urogenital tract derive from the endoderm. The mesodermal derivatives include the epithelia of the kidney, the suprarenal (adrenal) cortex, and endocrine cells of the ovary and testis.

Epithelia act as a selective barrier that facilitates, or inhibit the passage of substances, protect underlying tissues against dehydration, chemical, or mechanical damage; synthesize and secrete products into the spaces that they line also functions as sensory surfaces.[8]

Epithelium with its underneath connective tissue can be detached as a single layer, which is known as a membrane. Here, if the surface of a membrane is moistened by mucous glands, it is called a mucous membrane or mucosa and when a similar layer is covered by mesothelium is called a serous membrane or serosa.

The mucous membrane lines interior of hollow organs moistened by mucus, such as the intestines. The mucosa proper is made up of an epithelial lining having mucosal opening onto its surface, the underlying loose connective tissue, the lamina propria, and a slim layer of smooth muscle, the muscular mucosae,

whereas serosa consists of a solitary layer of squamous mesothelial cells sustained by a core layering of loose connective tissue containing numerous blood and lymphatic vessels. The pleural, pericardial, and peritoneal cavities are lined by serosa.[9]


  Discussion Top


After reviewing the literature from classical and contemporary thoughts, we can bring a hawk-eye view about Kala Sharir and its function in a much-summarized manner as follows.

Mamsadhara Kala

The masses of connective tissue large visible are known as fascia. Structurally, they are highly variable but, in the broad sense, collagen fibers in fascia have a propensity to be interwoven and are presented as the compact, parallel orientation in tendons and aponeurosis. Fascia that is prearranged into condensations on the external of muscles – and their epimysial sheaths is termed as investing fascia.[10] Thus, the functions of Mamsadhara Kala of covering the muscles and allowing the movement for vessels can be understood.

Raktadhara Kala

The vascular tree shows three main modifications basically during its proliferation. The branches of arteries increase in number due to repeated divergence in both the systemic and the pulmonary circulation. Among them, the capillaries, sinusoids, and small (postcapillary) venules are jointly termed as exchange vessels. The essential function of a circulatory system, i.e., exchange is allowed through their walls between blood and the interstitial tissue fluid.

Blood vessels except for capillaries and venules have walls consisting of three concentric layers (tunicae). The intima (tunica intima), is the deepest layer consisting of the endothelium, lines the complete vascular tree, including the heart, and the lymphatic vessels. The media (tunica media) consists of muscular tissue, elastic fibers, and collagen. The adventitia (tunica adventitia) is the superficial coat of the vessel and consists of connective tissue, nerves, and vessel capillaries (vasa vasorum).

Sinusoids are expanded capillaries and are large and irregular in shape. The discontinuities are formed by gaps between endothelial cells, which are also fenestrated, such that the sinusoidal lining, and sometimes also the basal lamina, is incomplete. Sinusoids occur in large numbers mainly in the liver, spleen, etc.[11] In the explanation of Srotomula of Raktavaha Srotas; Yakrit and Pleeha are confirmed on the histological basis.[12]

Medodhara Kala

A few adipocytes occur in loose connective tissue in most parts of the body. Each cell consists of a peripheral rim of cytoplasm, in which the nucleus is embedded, surrounding a single large central globule of fat, which consists of glycerol esters of oleic, palmitic, and stearic acids. However, they constitute the principal component of adipose tissue, where they are embedded in a vascular loose connective tissue. Adipose tissue only occurs in certain regions. In particular, it is found in subcutaneous tissue; the mesenteries and omenta, etc.[13]

Sleshmadhara Kala

Synovial membrane lines fibrous capsules and covers exposed osseous surfaces, intracapsular ligaments, bursae, and tendon sheaths. The synovial membrane secretes and absorbs a fluid that lubricates the movement between the articulating surfaces. It is composed of a cellular intima which consists of pleomorphic synovial cells embedded in a granular, amorphous, fiber-free extracellular matrix.

Synovial fluid occupies synovial joints, bursae, and tendon sheaths. The composition of synovial fluid is consistent with it being mainly a dialysate of blood plasma. It contains hyaluronan, which is thought to be a significant determinant of the viscoelastic and thixotropic (flow rate dependent) properties of synovial fluid.[14] This hyaluronan provides the nourishment to joints and also helps in lubrication.

Purishadhara Kala and Pittadhara Kala

We are going to discuss them together as both are part of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and are in continuation. The intestinal wall is composed of mucosa, submucosa, muscularis externa, and serosa or adventitia. The mucosa is thick and very vascular in the proximal small intestine, but thinner and less vascular distally. In places, it is ridged by the underlying submucosa to form circular folds, plicae circulares, which protrude into the lumen; mucosal finger-or leaf-like intestinal villi cover the whole surface. There are numerous simple tubular intestinal glands or crypts between the bases of the villi and additional submucosal glands in the duodenum.

The circular folds present sluggish the passage of the intestinal contents and increase the absorptive surface. Intestinal villi are highly vascular projections of the mucosal surface; they cover the entire intestinal mucosa. Enterocytes are columnar absorptive cells. They are the most numerous types of cells in the small intestinal lining and are responsible for nutrient absorption. The luminal surface is an important barrier to diffusion. Nutrients generally have to pass through enterocytes (transcellular absorption) before they reach the underlying lamina propria and its blood vessels and lymphatics (lacteals).

Intestinal glands or crypts (of Lieberkühn) are tubular pits that open into the lumen throughout the intestinal mucosa through small circular apertures between the bases of the villi. They secrete bioactive peptides, such as gastrin, cholecystokinin, and secretin, basally into the surrounding lamina propria.[15]

The GIT has been modified from the duodenum to the anus to amplify its capacity to absorb water and nutrients from its lumen as it pushes its indigestible contents towards the anus. Based on the histological study, the large intestine can be discriminated from the small intestines by the absence of villi, plicae circulares, and Paneth cells (in adults). Simple columnar epithelium lines its mucosa. The crypts of Lieberkühn are deeper in the colon and goblet cells become more abundant.[16] Thus, we can understand that for different functions of GIT, it has slight changes in its microstructure, thus making duodenum the more nutrition absorptive and the large intestine more water absorption helping in the formation of feces.

Sukradhara Kala

The male reproductive system depends on hormones that stimulate or regulate the activity of cells or organs. The primary hormones are follicle-stimulating hormone for sperm production (spermatogenesis), luteinizing hormone which stimulates the production of testosterone, necessary to continue the process of spermatogenesis, and testosterone is significant in the development of male distinctiveness, including muscle mass and strength, fat distribution, bone mass, and sex drive.[17]

The exterior of the testis is covered by the outer visceral tunica vaginalis. The septa extend internally to divide the testis into approximately 250 lobules. Each lobule consists of one to four convoluted seminiferous tubules, much-coiled loops whose free ends both open into channels (the rete testis) within the mediastinum. The loose connective tissue between seminiferous tubules contains several layers of contractile peritubular myoid cells and clusters of androgen-producing interstitial (Leydig) cells.

Each tubule is surrounded by a basal lamina, on which rests a complex, stratified seminiferous epithelium containing spermatogenic cells and supportive Sertoli cells. The proteinaceous fluid they secrete into the tubule lumen provides nutrients and facilitates the transport of spermatozoa into the excurrent duct system. The efferent ductules are lined by a ciliated columnar epithelium that also contains shorter, actively endocytic, nonciliated cells. External to the epithelium, the ductules are surrounded by a thin circular coat of smooth muscle.

The wall of the vas deferens has loose connective tissue externally, a thick middle muscular layer, and an internal mucosal layer. An additional internal longitudinal layer is present at the origin of the duct where it leaves the tail of the epididymis, and all muscle layers intermingle. The walls of the ejaculatory ducts are thin. They contain an outer fibrous layer, which is much reduced beyond their entrance into the prostate, a thin layer of smooth muscle fibers with an outer circular and inner longitudinal orientation, and a mucosa lined by columnar epithelium.[18]

The specialty of “ShukraDhatu is to diffuse all over the body, but it is not perceivable at every time like other Dhatu, only at the time of ejaculation when it comes out from the body. Here, basically, the endocrine hormonal view can be evaluated to understand its omnipresence in the body.


  Conclusion Top


After a multifaceted study of each Kala based on functional anatomy, histology, and certain clinical points, we can arrive at a wrapping up that kala is a minute structure which is not just separating layer rather have the important function of either secreting enzymes/hormones, absorption, providing nutrition, etc., These minute structures are described in classics in a very lucid manner giving with some easy to understand illustrations. It also gives a brief view of deep knowledge of our sages regardless of the time zone. This long discussion is concluded as a summarized form in [Table 2], giving prompt respect and gratitude to the knowledge and teaching capability of Susrutha and others.
Table 2: Conclusion: Kala Sharir and contemporary histological entity

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Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.





 
  References Top

1.
SusrutaSamhita, Sharirasthana, Sarirasamkhyavyakaraṇa adhyaya, 5/49. Available from: http://niimh.nic.in/ebooks/ e-sushrut. [Last Accessed on 02 Sep 2020].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
SusrutaSamhita, Sharirasthana, Sarirasamkhyavyakaraṇa adhyaya, 5/06. Available from: http://niimh.nic.in/ebooks/ e-sushrut. [Last Accessed on 02 Sep 2020].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
SusrutaSamhita, Sharirasthana, Garbhavyakaraṇ aadhyaya, 4/05. Available from: http://niimh.nic.in/ebooks/ e-sushrut. [Last Accessed on 02 Sep 2020].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Dalhana on SusrutaSamhita, Sharirasthana, Garbhavyakaraṇ aadhyaya, 4/05. Available from: http://niimh.nic.in/ebooks/ e-sushrut. [Last Accessed on 02 Sep 2020].  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Sharma Dr. Shivprasad, Vridddha Vagbhata, Astanga Samgraha; Sharira Sthana; 1st edition. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Sanskrit Series Office; 2014; chapter 5, verse. 30, P. 312  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Dalhana on SusrutaSamhita, Kalpasthana, Sarpadaṣṭaviṣavijnaniyakalpaḥ adhyaya, 4/40. Available from: http://niimh.nic.in/ebooks/ e-sushrut. [Last accessed on 02 Sep 2020].  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
SusrutaSamhita, Sharirasthana, Garbhavyakaraṇ aadhyaya, 4/8-21. Available from: http://niimh.nic.in/ebooks/ e-sushrut. [Last accessed on 02 Sep 2020].  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Wigley C. Susan standring, integrating cells into tissues. In: Grays Anatomy-The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. 40th ed., Ch. 2., Sec. Editor. London, UK: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2014. p. 27.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Wigley C. Susan standring, integrating cells into tissues. In: Grays Anatomy-The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. 40th ed., Ch. 2., Sec. Editor. London. UK: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2014. p. 39.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Wigley C. Susan standring, integrating cells into tissues. In: Grays Anatomy-The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. 40th ed.., Ch. 2., Sec. Editor. London, UK: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2014. p. 40.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Wigley C. Susan standring smooth muscles and the cardiovascular and lymphatic systems. In: Grays Anatomy-The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. 40th ed., Ch. 6., Sec. Editor. London, UK: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2014. p. 130-1.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
Soni G, Neelam. Histological validation of Pleeha (Spleen) as one of the Mulasthana (Origin) of Rakta Vaha Srotas (Circulatory System). J Res Tradit Med 2017;3:18-22.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
Wigley C. Susan standring, integrating cells into tissues. In: Grays Anatomy-The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. 40th ed., Ch. 2., Sec. Editor. London, UK: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2014. p. 38.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.
Wigley C. Susan standring, functional anatomy of the musculoskeletal system. In: Grays Anatomy - The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. 40th ed., Ch. 5., Sec. Editor. London, UK: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2014. p. 100-1.  Back to cited text no. 14
    
15.
Borey NR. Susan standring, small intestine. In: Grays Anatomy-The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. 40th ed., Ch. 66., Sec. Editor. London, UK: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2014. p. 1132-5.  Back to cited text no. 15
    
16.
Borey NR. Susan standring, large intestine. In: Grays Anatomy-The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. 40th ed., Ch. 67., Sec. Editor. London, UK: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2014. p. 1160-1.  Back to cited text no. 16
    
17.
Nassar GN, Raudales F, Leslie SW. Physiology, testosterone. In: StatPearls. Treasure Island, FL: StatPearls Publishing; 2020.  Back to cited text no. 17
    
18.
Healy JC. Susan standring, male reproductive system. In: Grays Anatomy-The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. 40th ed., Ch. 76., Sec. Editor. London, UK: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2014. p. 1266, 1268-9.  Back to cited text no. 18
    



 
 
    Tables

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