The method of secretory granuleformation in the acinar cells of the rat exorbital lacrimal gland was studied by electron microscope morphological and cytochemical techniques. Immature secretory granules at the inner face of the Golgi apparatus were frequently attached to a narrow cisternal structure similar to GERL as described in neurons by Novikoff et al. (Novikoff, P. M., A. B. Novikoff, N. Quintana, and J.-J. Hauw. 1971. J. Cell Bio. 50:859-886). In the lacrimal gland. GERL was located adjacent to the inner Golgi saccule, or separated from it by a variable distance. Portions of GERL were often closely paralleled by modified cisternae of rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER), which lacked ribosomes on the surface adjacent to GERL. Diaminobenzidine reaction product of the secretory enzyme peroxidase was localized in the cisternae of the nuclear envelope, RER, peripheral Golgi vesicles, Golgi saccules, and immature and mature secretory granules. GERL was usually free of peroxidase reaction product or contained only a small amount. Thiamine pyrophosphatase reaction product was present in two to four inner Golgi saccules; occasionally, the innermost saccule was dilated and fenestrated, and contained less reaction product than the next adjacent saccule. Acid phosphatase (AcPase) reaction product was present in GERL, immature granules, and, rarely, in the innermost saccule, but not in the rest of the Golgi saccules. Thick sections of AcPase preparations viewed at 100 kV revealed that GERL consisted of cisternal, and fenestrated or tublular portions. The immature granules were attached to GERL by multiple connections to the tublular portions. These results suggest that, in the rat exorbital lacrimal gland, the Golgi saccules participate in the transport of secretory proteins, and that GERL is involved in the formation of secretory granules.

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