The three-dimensional structure of the Golgi apparatus and its components has been analyzed in thin and thick sections of mucous cells of mouse Brunner's glands by using low- and high-voltage electron microscopes and a stereoscopic approach. In thick sections of glands impregnated with osmium or treated to detect nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphatase (NADPase) or thiamine pyrophosphatase (TPPase) activity, the Golgi apparatus appeared, at low magnification, as a continuous network located in the supranuclear region. At higher magnifications and in thin sections of tissue postfixed with reduced osmium and stained with lead citrate or treated to demonstrate phosphatase activity, the following components were observed: on the cis-face of the Golgi stacks, an osmiophilic tubular network referred to as the cis-element; a cis-saccular-compartment composed of a distended porous saccule slightly reactive for NADPase and three or four underlying NADPase-positive, flattened, poorly fenestrated saccules; a trans-saccular-compartment consisting of four to six TPPase-positive saccules or sacculo-tubular elements, prosecretory granules, and "peeling off" trans-tubular networks. The saccules of the cis-compartment were often perforated by large pores in register. The cavities thus formed in the stacks were called wells and were pan-shaped with a mouth directed toward the cis-face of the stacks and a bottom closed by TPPase-positive saccules. The wells always contained 80-nm vesicles. The saccules of the trans-compartment were involved in the formation of secretory granules according to the following proposed sequence of transformation. The secretion product appeared initially as a granular material evenly distributed throughout a slightly distended, poorly fenestrated saccule. These saccules appeared to transform into fenestrated elements with irregular pores and with parts of them taking on the appearance of a tubular network; they were thus referred to as sacculotubular elements. The secretory material initially distributed throughout these elements accumulated in nodular dilatations randomly distributed along the tubular portions of the elements. The dilatations, considered as prosecretory granules, increased in size as they drained the secretory material from the rest of the sacculotubular elements. Such prosecretory granules, large and irregular in shape, "peeled off" from the stacks of saccules with residual saccular or tubular structures still attached to them, some of the latter forming trans-tubular networks. The prosecretory granules detached from such membranous residues, condensed, and finally transformed into spherical secretion granules.