Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Natural Sciences in General
To demonstrate by SEM the topography and cytoarchitecture of the different parenchymal components of human salivary glands, we have employed a number of techniques that allow either the exposure of internal and lateral cell surfaces or, following the removal of connective tissue, the visualization of endpieces, ducts, and myoepithelial cells.Serous glands consist of indented acini attached to the ducts in a grape-like fashion, whereas mucous and mixed glands are made up of smooth tubuli. Myoepithelial cells (mecs), which are abundant on the surfaces of acini, tubuli, and intercalated ducts, are sparse on striated ducts. They are star-shaped on acini, striated ducts, and most of the tubuli. Spindle-shaped mecs are seen, instead, on intercalated ducts and, occasionally, on mucous and mixed tubuli as well.Cells of striated ducts split into a number of large basal portions whose surface is covered by long laminated processes responsible for the striations seen with TEM. Excretory ducts are lined by small cup-shaped basal cells and by tall cylindrical cells, which are completely covered by short processes oriented at random. When observed from below, after removal of the basal lamina, the basal surfaces of cells of excretory ducts exhibit polygonal areas delimited by short reliefs. Those of striated ducts show, instead, long laminar processes arranged radially.Results presented here are discussed and put in relationship to the mechanism of saliva production. © 1993 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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