The secretory coils of glutaraldehyde-osmium tetroxide-fixed and Epon-Araldite-embedded eccrine sweat glands from the palms of young men were studied with the electron microscope. The myoepithelial cells lie on the epithelial side of the basement membrane and abut other epithelial elements directly. The irregularly serrated base of the cell has dense thickenings along the plasma membrane which alternate with zones bearing pits; the smooth apical surface lacks dense thickenings, is studded with pits, and conjoined to secretory cells by occasional desmosomes. Masses of myofilaments, 50 A in diameter, fill most of the cell and are associated with irregular dense zones. In cross-section the arrangement of the myofilaments seems identical with that of the I band of striated muscle, and the dense zone has typical Z band structure. A few microtubules and cytoplasmic cores bearing profiles of the endoplasmic reticulum, filamentous mitochondria, and glycogen granules penetrate the fibrillar masses and run parallel to the oriented myofilaments. In the perinuclear zone, Golgi membranes, rough- and smooth-surfaced elements of the endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, glycogen, microtubules, lipid, pigment, and dense granules are variable components in the cytoplasm. The interrelationships of the myoepithelial cells with the secretory cells suggest that the former may act as regulators, controlling the flow of metabolites to the secretory epithelium.

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