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

Fine structure and cytochemistry of lysosomes in the Ito cells of the rat liver.

Ultracytochemical studies of the performic acid-phosphotungstic acid (PFP) reaction and acid phosphatase (ACPase) activity in the Ito cells (fat-storing cells) of the rat liver revealed two kinds of lipid droplets: one surrounded by a structure giving PFP- and ACPase-positive reactions, recognized as a lysosome, the other without such a reactive structure displaying a limiting membrane. To elucidate the function of the lysosomes surrounding lipid droplets, experiments were carried out on the following groups of animals: (1) Vitamin A-deficient rats were fed a normal diet containing vitamin A, and (2) hypervitaminosis A was experimentally induced in previously untreated rats. Lipid droplets were studied in both groups. No lipid droplets reappearing in an early stage after restoration of the regular diet were either membrane-bounded or surrounded by lysosomes. Lipid droplets surrounded by lysosomes could be seen in rats fully restored from vitamin-A deficiency and more frequently in animals suffering from hypervitaminosis A. It seems likely that as a result of the lysosomal activity in the immediate vicinity of the lipid droplets a degradation of the vitamin A-containing lipid droplets takes place in the Ito cells. Therefore, the lysosome-surrounded lipid droplets can be regarded as a sort of autophagolysosome; these lysosomes may play a role in preventing an unrestricted increase in the number and volume of lipid droplets.[1]


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