Parotid Salivary Gland
The parotid salivary gland is a compound, acinar, serous gland. Unlike all other salivary glands, the parotid includes no mucous cells.
Most of this view appears packed with secretory acini. Most of these are cut in random planes and look like solid lumps, made of cells having various sizes and shapes. The acinar lumen so visible only when the acinus is sliced neatly across the middle. In such a slice, the cells look like slices of pie, with the lumen in the center.
Individual acini are drained by small intercalated ducts. These in turn drain into striated (or "secretory") ducts, whose cells are specialized for concentrating the secretory product. Cells lining the striated duct pump water and ions across the epithelium, from the duct lumen and into interstitial fluid.
Apart from a couple small ducts, glandular stroma is not apparent in this image. Nevertheless, whether visible or not, each acinus is surrounded by a thin envelope of capillaries and connective tissue. Although not seen in this image, adipocytes are also common in the parotid gland.
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Last updated: 30 January 2002 / dgk