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J Histochem Cytochem. 2001 Mar;49(3):293-304.

Ultrastructural localization of vesicle-associated membrane protein(s) to specialized membrane structures in human pericytes, vascular smooth muscle cells, endothelial cells, neutrophils, and eosinophils.

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  • 1Departments of Pathology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Vesicle-associated membrane proteins (VAMPs) are important to the trafficking of vesicles between membrane-bound intracytoplasmic organelles, in the facilitation of neurosecretion, and in constitutive and regulated secretion in non-neuronal cells. We used a pre-embedding ultrastructural immunonanogold method to localize VAMPs to subcellular sites in human cells of five lineages known to have cytoplasmic vesicles that may function in vesicular transport. We found VAMPs localized to caveolae in pericytes, vascular smooth muscle cells, and endothelial cells of venules, to the vesiculo-vacuolar organelle, recently defined in venular endothelial cells, to the vesicle-rich intergranular cytoplasm and secretory granule membranes of neutrophils, and to perigranular cytoplasmic secretory vesicles and secretory granule membranes in eosinophils. These specific localizations in five human vascular and granulocyte lineages support the notion that VAMPs have vesicle-associated functions in these cells.

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