An electron microscopic survey has been made of the gastric parietal or oxyntic cell of the human, cat, beaver, dog, hamster, rat, mouse, and bat, and of the corresponding cell type in two species of frog, two species of toad, and the horned lizard. A feature consistently found in the parietal cells of the mammals or their equivalent in the lower vertebrates is the agranular endoplasmic reticulum, which takes the form of branching and anastomosing small tubules approximately 200 to 500 A in diameter, sometimes expanded into flattened cisternae. In mammalian parietal cells this form of the endoplasmic reticulum is found only in limited amounts, but in the corresponding secretory cells of the amphibia and reptilia the tubular agranular reticulum is abundant. It is believed to comprise a more or less continuous system of channels, but owing to their tortuous course only short profiles are seen in thin sections. Immediately subjacent to the plasmalemma at the free surface, the cytoplasm is relatively free of organelles but is occasionally traversed by the agranular reticulum, which appears to be continuous at some points with the cell surface. The possible participation of the agranular endoplasmic reticulum in hydrochloric acid secretion is discussed.

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