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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998 Nov 10;95(23):13635-40.

A novel structure involved in the formation of liver endothelial cell fenestrae revealed by using the actin inhibitor misakinolide.

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Laboratory for Cell Biology and Histology, Free University of Brussels, Laarbeeklaan 103, 1090 Brussels-Jette, Belgium.


Hepatic endothelial fenestrae are dynamic structures that act as a sieving barrier to control the extensive exchange of material between the blood and the liver parenchyma. Alterations in the number or diameter of fenestrae by drugs, hormones, toxins, and diseases can produce serious perturbations in liver function. Previous studies have shown that disassembly of actin by cytochalasin B or latrunculin A caused a remarkable increase in the number of fenestrae and established the importance of the actin cytoskeleton in the numerical dynamics of fenestrae. So far, however, no mechanism or structure has been described to explain the increase in the number of fenestrae. Using the new actin inhibitor misakinolide, we observed a new structure that appears to serve as a fenestrae-forming center in hepatic endothelial cells.

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