Ultrastructure of the submandibular gland in the rabbit.

Research paper by K K Toyoshima, B B Tandler

Indexed on: 01 Aug '86Published on: 01 Aug '86Published in: The American journal of anatomy


The secretory endpieces of the rabbit submandibular gland are unusual in that they consist of seromucous acini (not demilunes) that empty into serous tubules that in turn drain into intercalated ducts. Seromucous granules consist of a moderately dense spherule in a fibrillogranular matrix. Serous granules contain a feltwork of filaments, which are liberated as a tangled skein during exocytosis. Peculiar granulated cells that have secretory granules of complex morphology are present at each end of the serous tubules. Intercalated ducts are, cytologically speaking, relatively simple, but the duct cells may contain a few oblong secretory granules. Striated ducts are typical in structure, although postfixation with ferrocyanide-reduced osmium reveals significant amounts of glycogen in the basal processes. Modified mitochondria are present in striated duct cells, but their frequency varies from rabbit to rabbit. Such mitochondria contain either an array of parallel, rigid cristae linked by intermembranous bridges, or a bundle of helical filaments within an expanded crista. Interspersed with the striated duct cells, especially near the duct origin, are some highly vacuolated cells with sparse mitochondria. Excretory ducts consisting of stratified columnar (sometimes pseudostratified) epithelium often show bleb formation of the luminal surface of the tall cells.