Phosphatase cytochemistry was used to distinguish between the Golgi apparatus and GERL (considered as a specialized region of endoplasmic reticulum [ER] at the inner [trans] aspect of the Golgi stack) in pancreatic exocrine cells of guinea pig, rat, rabbit, and hamster. The trans element of the Golgi stack exhibits thiamine pyrophosphatase (TPPase) but no acid phosphatase (AcPase) activity. In contrast, GERL shows AcPase but no TPPase activity. The nascent secretory granules, or condensing vacuoles, are expanded cisternal portions of GERL. Continuities of condensing vacuoles with rough ER are suggested, and it is proposed that some secretory components may have direct access to the condensing vacuoles from ER. Connections of Golgi apparatus with GERL were not seen.

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