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Gail Gifford, Graduate Student, Samuelson Laboratory Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Michigan Medical School
The stomach produces acid and enzymes to break down food prior to its passage to the intestine for absorption. This is an image of the mouse stomach in the region called the corpus. The corpus is made up of millions of individual gastric glands; each gland contains a number of different cells that carry out different functions, including mucus-producing cells, acid producing cells, and cells that can digest proteins. In this image, the membranes of all of these cells are stained turquoise blue. Because they are constantly exposed to acid and enzymes, these cells have to be constantly renewed. This is done by stem cells that inhabit each gland and give rise to all of the different cell types.