mucous neck cells and parietal cells
This image shows a thin plastic section (i.e., embedded in plastic rather than paraffin and sliced at 2µm thickness vs. 5-6 µm for routine sections) of the stomach mucosa.
This preparation provides adequate resolution to identify easily not only parietal cells (P) but also mucous neck cells (N). Mucous neck cells occur in the upper ("neck") portion of gastric glands (i.e., near to the glands' openings into the bottoms of gastric pits).
These cells can be seen to face into the lumen of one gastric gland, sliced obliquely, which appears across the upper center of the image.
The epithelial nature of gastric gland cells can be best appreciated when the cells are visualized in position between the glandular lumen and the underlying lamina propria, as in the figure above. However, in routine cross-sections of the stomach mucosa the gastric glands are more commonly cut tangentially, so that they appear cord-like rather than tubular.
Contrast the thin-section appearance of these mucous neck cells and parietal cells with that of other secretory epithelial cells in the gastric mucosa:
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Last updated: 8 February 2002 / dgk