Gastric Pits

The stomach wall is lined with millions of gastric pits which release gastric juice into the stomach lumen

  • Gastric juice is an acidic solution that functions to break down food into a creamy paste called chyme

The gastric pits are lined by a number of different cell types which contribute to the overall function of the stomach:

  • Goblet cells – secrete mucus to form a protective layer around the stomach lining
  • Parietal cells – secrete hydrochloric acid which is responsible for creating a low pH environment in the stomach
  • G cells – secrete gastrin (stimulates release of stomach acids to increase stomach acidity)
  • D cells – secrete somatostatin (inhibits release of stomach acids to reduce stomach acidity)
  • Chief cells – secrete pepsinogen (inactive protease precursor which is activated by acidity to form active pepsin)

Structure of a Typical Gastric Pit

gastric pits