Southern Illinois University
ERG Index
GI Index

ENDO Index


Gastric mucosa,
mucous neck cells
and parietal cells


Thin section of the stomach's mucosal glands.  This specimen was prepared by embedding in plastic rather than paraffin and slicing at 2µm thickness vs. 5-6 µm for routine sections.  

This preparation provides adequate resolution to identify easily not only parietal cells (P) but also mucous neck cells (N).  Mucous neck cells occur in the upper ("neck") portion of gastric glands (i.e., near to the glands' openings into the bottoms of gastric pits).

These cells can be seen to face into the lumen of one gastric gland, sliced obliquely, which appears across the upper center of the image.

The epithelial nature of gastric gland cells can be best appreciated when the cells are visualized in position between the glandular lumen and the underlying lamina propria, as in the figure above.  However, in routine cross-sections of the stomach mucosa the gastric glands are more commonly cut tangentially and/or obliquely, so that they appear cord-like rather than tubular.

 Contrast the thin-section appearance of these mucous neck cells and parietal cells with that of other secretory epithelial cells in the gastric mucosa:

Related examples:

Comments and questions:

SIUC / School of Medicine / Anatomy / David King
Last updated:  10 May 2022 / dgk