Background

This is the parietal cell 3D medical animation that we created and used in one of our projects. It shows the detailed cell structure in motion. We are glad to share this project with you.

Parietal cell 3D medical animation

General information

Parietal cells, in other words, delomorphous or oxyntic cells, are epithelial cells that secrete the intrinsic factor and hydrochloric acid (HCl). These cells are part of the gastric glands found in the lining of the fundus and the cardia of the stomach. They comprise of canaliculi which is an extensive secretory network from where HCl is secreted by active transport into the stomach. The enzyme (H+/K+ ATPase) transports the H+ against a concentration gradient of about (3 million to 1), that is considered to be the steepest ion gradient formed inside the human body. The parietal cells are primarily regulated via histamine, acetylcholine and gastrin signaling from both central and local modulators.

Parietal cell ultrastructure

Human parietal cells, as observed by electron microscopy, are large cells averaging 16-22 μ in greatest diameter. The large nucleus, which occupies a central or basal position in the cells, has an irregular outline. In some cases, regions of cytoplasm extend deep into it. The nuclear envelope is well developed, showing occasional pores.

Cytoplasmic organelles

The parietal cells contain many mitochondria composed of a dense matrix and closely approximated cristae mitochondriales. Within the cytoplasm are prominent intracellular canals bounded by a membrane which is continuous with the plasma membrane of the cell. The canalicular membrane forms into finger-like projections, or microvilli, which project into the canalicular lumen. The microvilli show some variation in shape and arrangement. The lumen of the canaliculus seems patent or filled with closely approximated microvilli, depending upon the secretory state. 

Tile intracellular canalicular system may communicate directly with the glandular lumen or empty into an intercellular canaliculus and thence into the glandular lumen. Within the cytoplasm of the parietal cells are observed many small (100-230 mμ in diameter), smooth-surfaced elements, vesicular or vacuolar in form, whose content appears much less dense than that of the surrounding cytoplasm. These structures seem to vary in number and distribution, depending upon the secretory state of the cells. In cells which are mostly devoid of vesicles, smooth-surfaced tubular elements can be seen irregularly scattered throughout the cell. Another cytoplasmic structure occasionally seen is a more substantial, round or oval body containing several small vacuolar structures designated “vacuole containing bodies”. Ribonucleoprotein granules are scattered throughout the cell and occur either singly or in groups.

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