Skip to main content
Select Source:

Henle, Jacob

HENLE, JACOB

A pioneer in the field of microscopic anatomy and pathology, Friedrich Gustav Jacob Henle (18091885) made signal contributions to elucidating the structure of both healthy and diseased tissues. His discovery of the ascending and descending loops of the uriniferous tubule is central to understanding renal function, but the "loop of Henle" is just one of many anatomical structures carrying his name. Henle's recognition that all inner and outer surfaces of the body are lined with epithelial tissue has been called "one of the most momentous generalizations of the century" (Robinson, 1921), while his three-volume Handbook of Human Anatomy (18551871) is "considered by many authorities to be the greatest of the modern systems of anatomy" (Morton, 1965).

Epidemiologists celebrate Henle for his publication, in 1840, of Von den Miasman und Kontagien (On miasmata and contagia), which set out, more convincingly than previously, the concept that microscopic living organisms (Henle called them contagia animata ) were the causative agents of many diseases, especially those that occurred in epidemic form. Henle argued that in communicable diseases morbid matter apparently increases in amount in the host, but only after a period of incubation, which must correspond to the period of reproduction of the agent. His work drew on the work of Agostino Bassi (17731856), who showed that the muscardine of silkworm was attributable to a specific fungus. He also drew on Schwann and Schleiden's discovery that all life had a cellular structure; Schwann and Cagniard-Latour's proof that fermentation by yeast was the work of a live organism; and the evident ability of certain morbid matters, such as vaccinia and variola lymph, to experimentally produce systemic effects in animals even when greatly diluted.

Henle's thinking, which provided a theoretical basis for germ theory, had affinities with earlier writings of Girolamo Fracastoro (14781553) and Athanasius Kircher (16011680), but was nevertheless resisted for decades. Yet he lived to see his student Robert Koch (18431910) demonstrate conclusively the role of specific bacteria in anthrax, tuberculosis, and cholera.

Nigel Paneth

(see also: Epidemics; History of Public Health; Koch, Robert; Theories of Health and Illness )

Bibliography

Morton, L. (1965). Garrison and Morton's Medical Bibliography: An Annotated Check-List of Texts Illustrating the History of Medicine, 2nd edition, revised. London: Andre Deutsch.

Robinson, V. (1921). The Life of Jacob Henle. New York: Medical Life Company.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Henle, Jacob." Encyclopedia of Public Health. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Henle, Jacob." Encyclopedia of Public Health. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 19, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/henle-jacob

"Henle, Jacob." Encyclopedia of Public Health. . Retrieved February 19, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/henle-jacob

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Henle, Jacob

Jacob Henle (Friedrich Gustav Jakob Henle) (frē´drĬkh gŏŏs´täf yä´kôp hĕn´lə), 1809–85, German anatomist and histologist. A pupil of J. P. Müller, he taught at Zürich, Heidelberg, and Göttingen. He contributed pioneer work on the microscopic structure of tissues, including the renal tubules that bear his name, epithelium, hair, and blood vessels. He anticipated Pasteur in his theory that microorganisms cause infectious diseases. He wrote Handbuch der systematischen Anatomie (3 vol., 1866–71) and other important works.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Henle, Jacob." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Henle, Jacob." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 19, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/henle-jacob

"Henle, Jacob." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved February 19, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/henle-jacob

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.