2-glandular epithelium

Glandular Epithelium
A gland is a single cell or a mass of epithelial cells
adapted for secretion.
Classification of Glands
• By destination
• By structure
• By nature of the secretion
• By the method of discharge
There are two types depending on how the cells
release the substances they produce: Exocrine
glands and endocrine glands
Classification by Structure
Secretory part: unicellular / multicellular
acinar (alveolar) / tubular
coiled / branched
Duct system: Simple gland (single duct)
Complex gland (branched ducts)
Branching ducts:
Main > interlobular > Intralobular > Intercalary
(ducts define structure of complex glands)
1) Exocrine glands secrete into ducts or
directly onto a free surface. Their
secretions include mucus, sweat, oil,
ear wax and digestive enzymes.
EXO = out side and crine = secret
Structural classification of exocrine glands
multicellular glands - most glands,
have a distinctive appearance.
Communicates with the surface
Examples include :pancreas , stomach , sweat glands ,
salivary glands , mammary glands ,
sebaceous glands , etc .
unicellular glands - single cell.
goblet cells. No ducts .
Endocrine glands - called “ductless
glands” discharge their secretions
into the intracellular fluid, where it
diffuses into the blood stream.
These secretions are hormones, or
regulate many body functions.
Formation of glands from covering epithelia.
During fetal development epithelial cells
proliferate and penetrate the underlying
connective tissue. They may-or may notmaintain a connection with the surface
epithelium. When the connection is maintained,
exocrine glands are formed; with the
connection lost, endocrine glands are formed.
Exocrine glands secrete to the body surface or
gut via duct systems formed from the epithelial
The cells of endocrine glands, which
secrete hormone) can be arranged in
cords or in follicles with lumens for
storing the secretory product. From
either the cords or follicles of
endocrine cells, the secretory product
is released outside the cells and picked
up by the blood vessels for distribution
throughout the body.
General structure of exocrine glands.
Exocrine glands by definition have ducts
that lead to an organ or body surface.
Inside the gland the duct runs through
connecting septa and branches
repeatedly, until its smallest branches
end in the secretory portions of the
exocrine glands have a secretory
portion , which contains the cells
specialized for secretion , and ducts
, which transport the secretion out
of the gland .
the morphology of these
components allows the glands to
be classified as follows :-
1-Ducts can be simple ( un branched ) or
compound ( with two or more branches)
2-Secretory portions can be tubular (
either short or long and coiled ) or acinar (
round or
3-Either type of secretory portion may be
branched .
4-Compound glands can have tubular ,
acinar ,
or tubuloacinar secretory
Classification by nature of secretion
The three major salivary glands: parotid,
sub mandibular and sublingual.
Glands containing mucous acini
(e.g. the sublingual glands) are
called mucous glands. Glands
containing serous acini (e.g. the
parotid glands) are called serous
glands. If both types of acini are
present the gland is muco-serous or
mixed gland .
1- Mucous glands ( glands containing cells
produce a viscous secretion that lubricates
and or protects the inner lining of organs ) .
Morphology : the cell is pyramidal in shape
, flatten nuclei are displaced basally , their
cytoplasm is completely filled with a light –
staining , secretory product called mucus .
Serous glands ( glands with cell that
produce watery secretions , which are
Morphology : are similar in shape to
mucous cells also pyramidal in shape ,
spherical or round nuclei are displaced
basally by secretory granules that
accumulate in the apical regions .
Mixed glands ( glands that contain a
mixture of both mucous and serous
secretory cells).
Morphology : mucous cells
predominant , serous cells form a
crescent or moon-shaped cap over the
mucous cells , called serous demilune
Classification by method of secretion
• Merocrine
• Apocrine
• Holocrine
Merocrine secretion is exocytosis
• Membrane bounded component
approaches cell surface
• It fuses with plasma membrane
• Its contents are in continuity with the
extracellular space
• Plasma membrane transiently larger
• Membrane retrieved, stabilizing cell
surface area
Apocrine secretion
• Non-membrane bounded structure (e.g. lipid)
cell surface
• Makes contact and pushes up apical membrane
• Thin layer of apical cytoplasm drapes around
• Membrane surrounding drop[let pinches off from
• Plasma membrane transiently smaller
• Membrane added to regain original area
Holocrine secretion
• Disintegration of the cell
• Release of contents
• Discharge of whole cell
• Engulfing material initially outside the cell
• Opposite of exocytosis (merocrine secretion)
• Endo- & Exo-cytosis are coupled in
transepithelial transport
Transepithelial Transport
• material endocytosed at one surface
• transport vesicle shuttles across cytoplasm
• material exocytosed at opposite surface
Golgi Apparatus:
• Stack of disc-shaped cisternae
• One side of discs are flattened; other concave
• Discs have swellings at their edges
• Distal swellings pinch off as migratory Golgi
Golgi Apparatus:
• Packaging through condensation of contents
• Transport
• Adding sugars to proteins and lipids (Glycosylation)
Golgi Product Destinations
• Majority extruded in secretory vesicles
• Some retained for use in the cells (e.g. lysosomes)
• Some enters the plasma membrane (Glycocalyx)
Glycosylation & Specificity
• Branching sugars offer complex shapes for specific
interactions in the glycocalyx
• Destruction of this layer by enzymes alters many
specificity based properties of cells:
- adhesion to substrates & neighboring cells
- mobility of cells
- communication with neighboring cells
- contact inhibition of movement and division
Control of Secretion
• Nervous
• Endocrine control
• Neuro-endocrine control
• Negative feedback chemical mechanism
The Pancreas, an exocrine and endocrine gland.
An islet of Langerhans surrounded by exocrine
pancreatic acini (high power).
The thyroid gland
Simple cuboidal epithelium of the thyroid gland
surrounding homogeneous colloid in each
Parathyroid glands
Adrenal gland
Summary 1
• Epithelial cells form glands: the organs of
• Glands are:
• tubular / acinar / coiled / branched
• simple / complex
• endocrine / exocrine
• serous / mucous
Summary 2
• Secretion is Merocrine, Apocrine or Holocrine
• Nascent proteins & lipids are processed in the
• Golgi products are retained, exported or
added to
• Glycosylation confers additional specificity
• Control: chemical, neural, endocrine or neuroendocrine

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