The pancreatic exocrine cell of the guinea pig has a voluminous endoplasmic reticulum distinguished by extensive association with small, dense particles, and by its orderly disposition in the basal region of the cell.
In addition to the small, (∼15 mµ), dense particles attached to the limiting membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum, numerous particles of similar appearance are found freely scattered in the cytoplasmic matrix.
The various cell structures of pancreatic exocrine cells can be satisfactorily identified in pancreatic homogenates.
The microsome fraction consists primarily of spherical vesicles (80 to 300 mµ), limited by a thin membrane (7 mµ) which bears small (∼15 mµ) dense particles attached on its outer surface. The content of the microsomal vesicles is usually of high density. Pancreatic microsomes derive by extensive fragmentation mainly from the rough surfaced parts of the endoplasmic reticula of exocrine cells. A few damaged mitochondria and certain dense granules (∼150 mµ) originating probably from islet cells, contaminate the microsome fraction.
Pancreatic microsomes contain RNA, protein, and a relatively small amount of phospholipide and hemochromogen. They do not have DPNH-cytochrome c reductase activity. In six experiments the RNA/protein N ratios were found grouped around two different means, namely 0.6 and 1.3.
Pancreatic microsomes are more labile than liver microsomes but react in a similar way to RN-ase-(loss of the particulate component and RNA), and deoxycholate treatment (loss of the membranous component and of phospholipide, hemochromogen, and most of the protein).
Postmicrosomal fractions consisting primarly of small (∼15 mµ), dense particles of ribonucleoprotein (RNA/protein N ratio = 1 to 2) were obtained by further centrifugation of the microsomal supernatant.
The small nucleoprotein particles of these fractions are frequently found associated in chains or clusters.