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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Morphological studies on the translocation of tubulovesicular system toward the intracellular canaliculus during stimulation of the gastric parietal cell.

The gastric parietal has two characteristic membrane systems. One is the intracellular canaliculus, which is specialized networks of enfolded luminal membrane channels lined with numerous microvilli. The other structures common to all parietal cells are the tubulovesicles or the tubulovesicular membranes, a system of tubules and vesicles. The tubulovesicular compartment is drastically depleted during maximal gastric acid secretion and this is coincident with an increase in the canalicular cell surface membrane. A plausible explanation for this redistribution is the fusion and transfer of tubulovesicular membranes to the plasma membrane. However, for many years there was no convincing evidence of connections between these two membrane systems. The mechanism of the transformation of tubulovesicular membrane into the plasma membrane without demonstrable connections has been an enigma to electron microscopists. Using a recently developed fixation technique for parietal cells [Sugai et al. (1995) Acta Anat Nippon 74:S101], we have investigated the organization of the cytoplasmic membrane systems in the rat resting and tetragastrin stimulated stomachs by ultra-high-resolution scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Gastric mucosae were microwave-fixed in a cacodylate buffer, (334 milliosmoles/kgH(2)O (mOsm)), to which 1.0% glutaraldehyde and 0.5% formaldehyde were added. Specimens examined by TEM of thin sections revealed the cytoplasm packed with tubular membranes similar to images detected by rapid-freeze/freeze-substitution fixation. To render the cytoplasmic membranes visible by SEM, fixed mucosae were treated by the aldehyde-osmium-DMSO-osmium maceration procedure. With much of the cell matrix and filaments removed, SEM revealed numerous 30-60-nm tubules, which formed a meshwork with small cisternae. Vesicles or isolated tubules were not found in adequately macerated parietal cells. The cytoplasmic surface of the intracellular canaliculus was smooth except for round openings representing the bases of macerated microvilli. In favorable sites, connections of the tubular membranes to the canaliculi were clearly visible. Stereo pair views were particularly useful to demonstrate these continuities. Connections between these two membrane compartments suggest the probability of rapid membrane transposition. In this article, the form and distribution of membrane systems of parietal cells in the resting state and after tetragastrin stimulation will be presented and discussed. Special emphasis is made to demonstrate connections between the tubulovesicular system and the intracellular canaliculus.[1]


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