Gastric parietal cells in mice present a spectrum of microscopic appearances due mainly to variations in the abundance of the tubular and vesicular component of the cytoplasm and in the size and number of microvilli lining the intracellular canaliculi. Differences in the range of forms among parietal cells of fasting versus fed mice were not especially striking, but cells with very numerous tubules and vesicles were more common after fasting. However, in mice treated with drugs or hormones that induce acid secretion, parietal cells were more uniform in appearance. There was a marked reduction of these cytoplasmic membranes and a concomitant increase in both the number and size of microvilli. Measurements of acid secretion in control animals and in animals treated with acid secretagogues indicated hydrogen ion secretion contemporaneous with depletion of the cytoplasmic tubulovesicular membranes and with increase of the microvilli. In mice with inhibited acid secretion, parietal cells showed an accumulation of cytoplasmic tubules and vesicles and reduction in the numbers of microvilli. Stereological methods were used to quantitate 10 different parietal cell compartments. Tracer studies with lanthanum did not reveal continuity between the tubules and the plasma membrane. However, there were regions of close apposition between the tubulovesicular membranes and the cell membrane of the canaliculus, and instances where cytoplasmic tubules extended from the cell into the core of enlarged microvilli.

This content is only available as a PDF.