The distribution of calcium and magnesium has been studied in the acinar cells of the pancreas of the guinea pig. Most of the magnesium was found to be associated with the rough microsomes (probably bound to the ribosomes) and with the postmicrosomal supernate. In contrast, calcium was distributed among all the particulate fractions, primarily the mitochondria, microsomes (especially smooth surfaced), zymogen granules, and the plasmalemma, and was low in the postmicrosomal supernate. Most of the calcium recovered in the particulate fractions was found to be membrane bound. The highest concentrations were found in the membranes of the zymogen granules and in the plasmalemma. By means of control experiments using -45Ca as the tracer, it was established that a considerable redistribution of calcium occurs during homogenization and cell fractionation. At least some of the resulting artifacts were estimated quantitatively and the data were corrected accordingly. The biochemical results were confirmed with the cytochemical antimonate technique carried out on the tissue as well as on isolated fractions. The role of calcium associated with the zymogen granules and with their limiting membranes is discussed in relation to the architecture of the granule and to the functionality of the pancreatic juice.

This content is only available as a PDF.