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Anat Rec B New Anat. 2005 May;284(1):35-40.

Feulgen reaction study of novel threadlike structures (Bonghan ducts) on the surfaces of mammalian organs.

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Biomedical Physics Laboratory, School of Physics, Seoul National Laboratory, Seoul, South Korea.


Threadlike structures on the surfaces of internal organs, which are thought to be part of the Bonghan duct system, were first reported about 40 years ago, but have been largely ignored since then. Recently, they were rediscovered, and in this study we discuss the Feulgen reaction that specifically stains DNA in order to identify these structures on the surface of rabbit livers as part of the Bonghan system. The distribution, shapes, and sizes of their nuclei are found to be similar to those of intravascular threadlike structures. The endothelial nuclei are rod-shaped, 10-20 mum long, and aligned in a broken-line striped fashion. The threadlike structure consists of a bundle of several subducts, which is a characteristic feature of Bonghan ducts and distinguishes them morphologically from lymphatic vessels. In addition, the Feulgen reaction clearly demonstrates that the subducts pass through a corpuscle, which is usually irregular or oval-shaped and is connected to two or several threadlike structures that form a web on the surfaces of organs. Furthermore, spherical granules of about 1 mum in diameter are detected in the subducts. These granules were well stained by using the Feulgen reaction, which implies that they contain DNA. According to previous reports, a granule is a type of microcell and plays an essential role in the physiology and therapeutic effect of the Bonghan system and acupuncture. This role has yet to be elucidated.

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