Normal Microscopic Structure

  • A. H. Cruickshank


The exocrine pancreas is a compound acinar gland, that is, it is formed by the branching of its main duct into subdivisions into which secretory units discharge their product. The secretory unit is the acinus and groups of acini form lobules that are surrounded by, and separated from neighbouring lobules by, delicate connective tissue septa (Fig. 2.1). Each acinus consists of a single layer of pyramidal broad-based cells that rest upon a basal lamina. The nucleus of the acinar cells lies towards the base of the cell and the basophilic cytoplasm towards the lumen of the acinus contains zymogen granules that are acidophilic and refractile (Fig.2.2). The secretion of the acinus enters the lumen of the acinus and is drained into the duct system by ductules that begin within the acinus as the centro-acinar cells. These are inconspicuous in routinely stained sections but they can be demonstrated by various techniques by which their staining reaction can be made to contrast with that of the acinar cells (Fig. 2.2).


Beta Cell Chronic Pancreatitis Pancreatic Duct Islet Cell Acinar Cell 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. H. Cruickshank
    • 1
  1. 1.LiverpoolUK

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