A graphic reconstruction has been made of a submucosal gland from a normal human main bronchus, revealing a collecting duct not previously described. Ciliated respiratory epithelium dips into the gland opening to line the first part of the duct, the ciliated duct, and then gives way, in the collecting duct, to an epithelium composed of tall, columnar, eosinophilic cells containing numerous large mitochondria. This cell structure suggests that the collecting duct controls ionic and water concentration. From the collecting duct arise secretory tubules lined by mucous cells—mucous tubules. Tubules lined by serous cells—serous tubules—arise from mucous tubules either terminally or laterally.
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