Ultrastructure of the parietal cells of the stomach and their functional activity
Submicroscopic changes in the parietal cells of the fundal portion of the stomach were compared with the results of measurement of the intragastric pH by direct vision in the same areas of the mucous membrane in 18 patients admitted to hospital for treatment in the remedial dietetic department. After brief (36 h) starvation, when the pH of the mucous membrane was indistinguishable from normal, no changes were found in the ultrastructure of the parietal cells. With an increase in the duration of starvation the gastric secretion gradually became alkaline and the pH of the stomach wall changed from 2.02 after 3 days of starvation to 4.8–5.0 after 20–30 days of starvation. Corresponding changes took place in the ultrastructure of the parietal cells: the tubulovesicles became flattened and subsequently disappeared, the lumen of the intracellular tubules diminished, and the microvilli were shortened. The results of comparison of the submicroscopic changes with the pH measurements indicate that submicroscopic changes of this type correspond to depression of functional activity of the parietal cells.
Key Wordsparietal cells of the stomach intragastric pH measurement remedial starvation
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