Histology of the Stomach

The stomach wall consists of four types of tissue: connective, smooth muscle, neural, and epithelial (Table 1). Within these layers is a vascular system with arterioles supplying the external muscle layers and gastric arteries supplying a plexus of arterioles in the gastric submucosa, which in turn provide nutrients for the mucosal secretory cells.

The cells producing the gastric secretions are located in the mucosa of the stomach and are arranged in structures called gastric pits (Figure 2). Pits are made up of several gastric glands and are distributed throughout the mucosa. Glands in the body and fundus contain chief (peptic) cells deep within them, which synthesize, store, and secrete the inactive enzyme precursor pepsinogen. Parietal (oxyntic, from the Greek oxys meaning acid) cells are found more widely distributed within the gland

Table 1 Layers of the stomach wall

Outside

Serosa

Connective tissue

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