noun, plural: gastric chief cells
An epithelial cell that is found mainly in the mucosal layer of the stomach lining and secretes pepsinogen and gastric lipase, as well as chymosin
The gastric glands are the glands located in the stomach lining and are responsible for the secretion of the major components of the gastric juice. There are different cell types that make up the gastric glands. The different cell types are: (1) parietal cells, (2) gastric chief cells, (3) foveolar cells, particularly the mucous neck cells, (4) G cells, and (5) enterochromaffin-like cells.
The gastric chief cells are epithelial cells in the gastric glands in the stomach lining. They are responsible for the secretion of pepsinogen and gastric lipase.
In humans, the gastric chief cells are stimulated by the acidic condition of the stomach as well as through the cholinergic activity from the vagus nerve. When stimulated, it releases pepsinogen, which is a zymogen that is converted to pepsin (a digestive enzyme) through the action of hydrochloric acid produced by the parietal cells. The gastric lipase that these chief cells secrete helps digest triglycerides, converting them into simple fatty acids, diglycerides and monoglycerides.
The gastric chief cells are also the ones that produce chymosin in ruminants, pigs, cats, and seals. The chymosin is a protease produced by the gastric chief cells in the lining of the abomasum of newborns or young ruminants and certain non-ruminant animals. It curdles the milk and helps improve better absorption of the milk they ingest.
The gastric chief cells are regularly replaced. They are the mucous neck cells in the isthmus that migrate toward the base and transdifferentiate into gastric chief cells.
- peptic cell
- gastric zymogenic cell