The influence of feeding on the ultrastruct of the frog exocrine pancreatic cell was studied by morphometrical procedures. Volume and surface of various cell structures were measured and expressed per unit cell volume. The average cellular size was not influenced by feeding. Though protein synthesis changes 5-to 10-fold (van Venrooij, W. J., and C. Poort. 1971. Biochim. Biophys. Acta. 247:468-470), no significant differences were observed in the amount of membrane that constitutes the rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER) and that represented the major part of total cellular membranes. The appearance of the RER changed. When fasted, most of its membrane was arranged in stacks of tightly packed, narrow cisternae. Within 4 h after feeding, these cisternae were separated and irregularly dilated, and ribosomes became ordered in typical rosettes on their surface. The total volume of the Golgi system increased twofold after feeding. The vesicular and tubular elements at the Golgi periphery did not change, but the volumes of the Golgi cisternae and the condensing vacuoles increased 2.5- and 6-fold, respectively. The increased in the amount of membrane present in these structures was only 1.6- and 3.5-fold, which reflects the more distended appearance of the cisternae and the rounded shape of the condensing vacuoles after feeding. Feeding halved the number of secretory granules per cell, and signs of exocytosis were more common than in fasted animals. These findings suggest that, in the frog pancreatic cell, fluctuations in the production of secretory proteins are not accompanied by an important breakdown and renewal of cellular membranes. This may favor a rapid and strong response of the cell to feeding.

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