Neonatal pig gastric mucosa was studied in order to correlate electrophysiological and secretory parameters with ultrastructural changes in membrane components of oxyntic cells. The non-stimulated tissue had a transmucosal resistance of about 130omega - cm2 while the oxyntic cells were characterized by numerous cytoplasmic tubulovesicles and short microvilli extending into patent glandular and canalicular lumina. Upon histamine-stimulation, the average rate of H+ secretion was 8.1 mueq - cm2 - hr-1 and the resistance decreased to 77omega - cm2. The changes were coupled with an immense elaboration of the oxyntic cell apical and canalicular surfaces with a concomitant decrease of tubulovesicles. Thus, the observed decrease in resistance was correlated to large increases in secretory membrane area. Anoxia inhibited H+ secretion while resistance increased to 211omega - cm2. Anoxic oxyntic cells were characterized by swollen mitochondria and occlusion of the lateral intercellular space and basal infoldings. Little change in the configuration of the secretory surfaces was noted, thereby suggesting that restriction of lateral and basal membranes might be responsible for the observed resistance increase. An electrical analogue of gastric mucosa is proposed on the basis of these morphological observations.