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Parotid Gland

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Higher magnification shows several serous acini and striated ducts. The serous acini consists of round or oval shaped clusters of epithelial cells surrounded by a basement membrane. The epithelial cells have a basally located nucleus and moderate amount of cytoplasm with basophilic zymogen granules. The main enzyme in these granules is amylase which initiates carbohydrate digestion in the oral cavity. Other enzymes include lysozyme, trypsin- and chymotrypsin-like proteases. The secretions from the acini are drained through a central lumen first into the intercalated ducts and then onwards to the striated ducts.

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