Understand Cell Secretion in 4 Q&As
1. What is cell secretion?
Cell secretion is the external elimination of substances produced by the cell (for example, hormones, mucus, sweat, etc.)
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2. Which cell organelles are well-developed in secretory cells?
In secretory cells, such as the secretory cells of endocrine glands, organelles related to the production, processing and “export” of substances are widely present and well-developed. These organelles are the rough endoplasmic reticulum and the Golgi apparatus.
The nuclear membrane of secretory cells generally has more pores to allow the intense traffic of molecules related to protein synthesis between the cytoplasm and the nucleus.
3. What is the role of the rough endoplasmic reticulum and the Golgi apparatus in the production and release of proteins?
In its outer membrane, the rough endoplasmic reticulum contains numerous ribosomes, structures where the translation of messenger RNA and protein synthesis occur. These proteins are stored in the rough endoplasmic reticulum and are later moved to the Golgi apparatus. Within the Golgi apparatus, proteins are chemically transformed and, when ready, they are put inside vesicles that detach from the organelle. These vesicles fuse with the plasma membrane (exocytosis) in the right place and its content is released outside the cell.
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Examples of Secretory Cells
4. What are some examples of secretory cells?
Endocrine and exocrine pancreatic cells, thyroid and parathyroid endocrine cells, the adenohypophysis, adrenal and pineal endocrine cells, the many types of gastric exocrine and endocrine cells, the mucus-secreting cells of the lungs and of the bowels, salivary gland cells, tear gland cells, sebaceous gland cells, the secretory cells of the ovaries and testicles, etc., are all examples of secretory cells.
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