Normal histology

Author: Elliot Weisenberg, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 20 December 2016, last major update July 2012

Copyright: (c) 2003-2016,, Inc.

PubMed Search: normal histology stomach

Related Topics: Cardia, Fundus, Antrum, Parietal cells, Chief cells, Endocrine cells, Enterochromaffin-like (ECL) cells, Mucous cells, Ganglion cells
Cite this page: Normal histology. website. Accessed November 18th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Layers:
    • Mucosa
    • Submucosa (with Meissner plexus)
    • Muscularis propria (outer longitudinal layer, Auerbach / myenteric plexus, inner circular layer, innermost oblique layer)
    • Serosa

  • Mucosal protection against autodigestion:
    • Mucus secretion: mucus is relatively impermeable to H+; also fluid with acid or pepsin exits gastric glands as jets and penetrates surface mucus layer without contacting surface epithelial cells
    • Bicarbonate secretion creates pH neutral microenvironment adjacent to cell surface
    • Intercellular tight junctions prevent back diffusion of H+; disruptions are quickly repaired
    • Rich blood flow supplies bicarbonate and nutrients and removes acid
    • Muscularis mucosa limits injury; if intact, repair occurs in hours / days vs. weeks if not intact
Mucosal components
  • Gastric mucosa has two compartments:
    1. Superficial foveolar compartment, relatively uniform throughout, consists of surface epithelial / foveolar cells lining the entire mucosal surface and pits
    2. Deep glandular compartment, varying composition and thickness in different regions containing gastric glands

  • The gastric mucosa is very metabolically active
  • The entire mucosa is replaced every 2 to 8 days (varies by source)
  • Mucous neck cells at the base of foveola are progenitors of surface epithelium and gastric glands, mitotically active, site of gastric carcinogenesis
  • Ratio of foveola to gland volume differs by region: cardia / antrum: 50 / 50; fundus: 25 / 75
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on PathOut server:

Contributed by Dr. Grigory Demyashkin, I. M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University (Russia) - 6 - 8 week embryo:

Upper left: small intestine;
bottom left: esophagus;
center: stomach;
top right: pancreas; right: liver

Left: small intestine; bottom: stomach;
center: gonad & kidney primary (mesonephros);
right: symphysis