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J Comp Neurol. 1996 Jun 3;369(3):462-71.

Conformational changes of smooth endoplasmic reticulum induced by brief anoxia in rat Purkinje cells.

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Department of Anatomy, University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.


Morphological changes of the smooth endoplasmic reticulum (SER) in rat cerebellar Purkinje cell dendrites were examined under apneic conditions for 1-5 minutes, induced by an incision of the diaphragm and the collapse of the lungs. The dendrites obtained from control rats contained a tubular network of the SER and hypolemmal cisterns adjacent to the plasma membrane. After a 3-5-minute apnea, the cytoplasm was occupied by many flattened cisterns stacked into lamellae, referred to as "lamellar bodies." A quantitative analysis revealed that the number of lamellar bodies became maximum after 3 minutes of apnea. After the treatment time, they increased in size by adding new cisterns to the previous core lamellae. This analysis also showed that the total amount of the SER membranes contained in a dendrite did not change during anoxia. Conformational changes from the tubular or hypolemmal SER to lamellar bodies during brief anoxia might occur through a transient and intermediate form of "fenestrated cisterns," flat across the transverse plane and penetrated by many longitudinally arranged microtubules. We suggest that these morphological changes of the SER during brief anoxia are not fixation artifacts but represent a biological reaction for protecting against intracellular abnormalities during anoxia.

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