Prenatal development of the human Brunner's glands

Botros, K.G.; el-Hady, S.L.; el-Mohandes, E.A.

Anatomischer Anzeiger 171(1): 23-30


ISSN/ISBN: 0003-2786
PMID: 2403210
Document Number: 366456
The prenatal development of the human Brunner's glands has been investigated in 23 fetuses from the 10th week of gestation to full-term. At 12 weeks, a few cords of epithelial cells were seen budding from the duodenal mucosa immediately beyond the pyloric sphincter. They represent the initial stage of the development of Brunner's glands. At 16 weeks, Brunner's glands originated as simple tubular downgrowths from the bottoms of the most proximal crypts of the duodenum. The secretory products of the components cells of these primitive tubules contained periodic acid schiff (PAS) positive material which was largely supranuclear in position and resisted digestion by diastase. From 20 weeks to full term the Brunner's glands developed in a progressive fashion starting in the proximal part of the duodenum near the pyloroduodenal junction. Further tubular downgrowths were added distally, leading to an increase in length of the glandular tissue. The gland showed an increase in size proximally due to elongation and branching of the tubules. At birth, the glandular cells of Brunner's glands resembled those of normal adult in structure and staining reactions. The PAS staining of the cells of the early developed glands (at 12 weeks) was as intense as those of the full-term. The secretory materials of the developed Brunner's glands showed negative reaction with Alcian blue (AB) at pH 2.5 at any stage of development. These results suggest that the mucin secreted by the developed Brunner's glands of human is neutral mucopolysaccharide in nature.

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