Synchronization of the secretory cycle in vivo was obtained by injecting isoprenaline as an inducer of secretion. A quantitative correlation between enzyme release, its subsequent reaccumulation, and the sequence of ultrastructural changes was found. At the ultrastructural level secretion was paralleled by depletion of zymogen granules through fusion of the granule membrane with the lumen membrane and discharge of the content. Each zymogen granule membrane, once connected with the lumen, acted as a lumen membrane. Fusion was thus sequential and resulted in a dramatic enlargement of the lumen space. During the entire process the passage between the lumen and the intercellular space remained blocked by the tight junctions, as shown by their impenetrability to ferritin. Reduction of the lumen size following enzyme discharge seemed to be achieved by withdrawal of lumen membrane in the form of small smooth vesicles which appeared mostly in the apical part of the cell. At the same time, the cell retracted towards the lumen, the whole process being completed within 2 hr from onset of secretion. Disappearance of the smooth vesicle followed, concomitant with formation of many condensing vacuoles and appearance of mature zymogen granules. The fate of the zymogen granule membrane, including its fusion with the lumen membrane, resorption in the form of small smooth vesicles, and its eventual reutilization mediated by the Golgi system, is discussed.

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