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Cell Tissue Res. 1989 Apr;256(1):53-64.

Substructure of cisternal organelles of neuronal perikarya in immature rat brains revealed by quick-freeze and deep-etch techniques.

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Department of Anatomy, Osaka University Medical School, Japan.


Membrane-bounded organelles possessing cisternae, i.e., rough endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus, in immature rat central neurons were examined by quick-freeze and deep-etch techniques to see how their intracisternal structures are organized and how ribosomes are associated with the membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum. Cisternae of endoplasmic reticulum, 60-100 nm wide, were bridged with randomly-distributed strands (trabecular strands, 12.5 nm in mean diameter). Luminal surfaces of cisternae of the endoplasmic reticulum were decorated with various-sized globular particles, some as small as intramembrane particles, and others as large as granules formed by soluble proteins seen in the cytoplasm. A closer examination revealed much thinner strands (3.3 nm in mean diameter). Such thin strands were short, usually winding toward the luminal surface, and sometimes touching the luminal surface with one end. Ribosomes appeared to be embedded into the entire thickness of cross-fractured membranes of endoplasmic reticulum, that is, their internal portions appeared to be situated at almost the same level as the cisternal luminal surface. From the internal portion of ribosomes, single thin strands occasionally protruded into the lumen, suggesting that these thin strands were newly synthesized polypeptides. A horizontal separation within ribosomes appeared to occur at the same level as the hydrophobic middle of the membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum. Interiors of the Golgi apparatus cisternae, which were much narrower than cisternae of endoplasmic reticulum, were similarly bridged with trabecular strands, but the Golgi trabecular strands were thinner and more frequent. Their cisternal lumina were also dotted with globular particles. No identifiable profiles corresponding to the thin strands in the endoplasmic reticulum were observed. Golgi cisternae showed a heterogeneous distribution of membrane granularity; the membrane in narrow cisternal space was granule-rich, while that in expanded space was granule-poor, suggesting a functional compartmentalization of the Golgi cisternae.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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