An electron microscope study has been made of the structure of parietal cells in cats, dogs, and rats and of the cells lining the gastric glands of Bufo spinulosus. It is characteristic of all these cells to contain numerous vesicles about 0.05 to 0.3 µ in size. In the mammalian parietal cells an intracellular system of canaliculi is also observed, which is much more complex in the rat than in the cat or dog. Stimulation with histamine causes in the cat a very marked hypertrophy of the canalicular system with development of a large number of villi and a decrease in the number of vesicles. In Bufo, histamine induces the formation of a very complex system of membrane infoldings which circumscribe finger-like processes that entirely fill the glandular lumen. The cytoplasmic vesicles diminish or disappear.
These experiments show that under histamine stimulation all these cells undergo a great increase in the cell membrane area. These findings provide additional circumstantial evidence that parietal cells play a role in the secretion of hydrochloric acid.