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Circ Res. 1985 May;56(5):709-17.

Surface densities of diaphragmed fenestrae and transendothelial channels in different murine capillary beds.


Fenestrated capillaries are provided with two types of regular discontinuities: fenestrae with negatively charged diaphragms, and transendothelial channels fitted with two diaphragms, of which the luminal one is uncharged. These structures are expected to affect macromolecular exchanges on the basis of size and charge. We have detected variations in the surface density of fenestrations and transendothelial channels (normalized to 1 micron of capillary endothelial profiles in sections) in selected areas of different murine organs, i.e., kidney cortex, duodenal mucosa, and exocrine pancreas. The survey was limited to endothelial segments less than or equal to 400 nm thick, and covered a total length of endothelial profiles of 1180 microns, 730 microns, and 1189 microns in the exocrine pancreas, intestinal mucosa, and kidney cortex, respectively. At least 1000 transendothelial openings were recorded by scoring for easily recognizable fenestrations, transendothelial channels, and unknowns, the latter representing either of the above in grazing sections. The linear density of all transendothelial openings taken together was found to vary among the different capillary beds (kidney cortex greater than intestinal mucosa greater than exocrine pancreas). This same sequence was observed for the linear densities of fenestrations, transendothelial channels, and unknowns considered individually. The values obtained were as follows: kidney cortex, 1.35 fenestrations per micron, 0.25 transendothelial channels per micron, 0.52 unknowns per micron; intestinal mucosa, 0.92 fenestrations per micron, 0.10 transendothelial channels per micron, 0.38 unknowns per micron; exocrine pancreas, 0.58 fenestrations per micron, 0.04 transendothelial channels per micron, 0.27 unknowns per micron. The differences in distribution of transendothelial openings among fenestrated capillary beds probably reflect capillary permeability modulations connected with the functions of these various organs.

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