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Anatomy Atlases: Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 1 - Cells Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 1 - Cells

Plate 1.5: Chief and Parietal Cells


Ronald A. Bergman, Ph.D., Adel K. Afifi, M.D., Paul M. Heidger, Jr., Ph.D.
Peer Review Status: Externally Peer Reviewed


Plate 1.5: Chief and Parietal Cells

Dog, Helly's fluid, H. & E., 612 x.


Cells whose cytoplasm stains intensely blue with hematoxylin are primarily involved in protein synthesis (e.g., chief cells). Cytoplasm that is eosinophilic (stained with eosin) contains little RNA and is engaged in other kinds of cellular activity (e.g., muscular contraction, active transport, or the elaboration of hydrochloric acid, as in this preparation). See Appendix IV for a brief discussion of the staining mechanism and the hematoxylin and eosin dyes.

Chief cells: Pyramidal shape. Basal nucleus. Granular apex contains zymogen granules. Basophilia of base is due to cytoplasmic ribonucleic acid (RNA). Secretes pepsinogen and rennin.

Parietal cells: Wedged between and larger than chief cells. Centrally placed nuclei surrounded by a finely granular acidophilic cytoplasm. Cytoplasm granularity is due to abundant but unstained mitochondria. Secrete hydrochloric acid, which converts pepsinogen to pepsin, a proteolytic digestive enzyme active at very low pH and is the source of the antipernicious anemia factor in humans. See Plates 190 and 191.

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