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Anatomy of the Stomach


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Anatomy of the Stomach:Secretory Epithelial Cells
Stomach Micrograph Image

Stomach Micrograph Image

Richard Bowen

Types of Secretory Epithelial Cells

Four major types of secretory epithelial cells cover the surface of the stomach and extend down into gastric pits and glands:
  • Mucous cells: secrete an alkaline mucus that protects the epithelium against shear stress and acid.

  • Parietal cells: secrete hydrochloric acid!

  • Chief cells: secrete pepsin, a proteolytic enzyme.

  • G cells: secrete the hormone gastrin.
There are differences in the distribution of these cell types among regions of the stomach - for example, parietal cells are abundant in the glands of the body, but virtually absent in pyloric glands. The micrograph above shows a gastric pit invaginating into the mucosa (fundic region of a raccoon stomach). Notice that all the surface cells and the cells in the neck of the pit are foamy in appearance - these are the mucous cells. The other cell types are farther down in the pit and, in this image, difficult to distinguish.

NEXT > Gastric Motility

Republished with permission by Richard Bowen - Hypertexts for Biomedical Sciences
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