PMID: 11148980Jan 10, 2001Paper

Brunner's glands: a structural, histochemical and pathological profile

Progress in Histochemistry and Cytochemistry
W J Krause

Abstract

Brunner's glands are unique to mammalian species and in eutherians are confined primarily to the submucosa of the proximal duodenum. In the majority of species examined, they begin at the gastrointestinal junction and extend for variable distances distally in the wall of the proximal small intestine. Ducts of individual glands empty either directly into the intestinal lumen or unite with overlying intestinal glands (crypts of Lieberkühn) dependent on the species. Secretory units of Brunner's glands consist of epithelial tubules that show frequent distal branchings. The secretory units, with the exception of those found in rabbits and horses, consist primarily of a mucin producing cell type. However, other cell types normally associated with the overlying intestinal epithelium may be encountered scattered within the secretory units reflecting the developmental origin of these glands. Secretion from Brunner's glands contributes to a layer of mucus that forms a slippery, viscoelastic gel that lubricates the mucosal lining of the proximal intestinal tract. The unique capacity of this mucus layer to protect delicate underlying epithelial surfaces is due primarily to the gel-forming properties of its glycoprotein molecules. Mucin gly...Continue Reading

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