Compound acinar serous gland (pancreas)
This image shows a conspicuous duct surrounded by several serous acini.
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. A relatively passive "excretory" duct is conspicuous in the center of this image..
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.
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Last updated: 14 August 2003 / dgk