The cytoplasmic matrix of the adrenal chromaffin cells of rats under normal and stressed conditions
ABSTRACT In embedment-free electron microscopy with polyethylene glycol embedding and subsequent deembedding, the conventional cytoplasm of the chromaffin cells was revealed to consist of a three-dimensional lattice of microtrabeculae and gives the impression that the chromaffin granules are held in place by the lattice. After the restraint stress, a substantial number of chromaffin cells were almost free of granules, and the microtrabecular lattice was much more compact than that in cytoplasmic regions occupied with remaining granules or increased mitochondria. In immunocytochemistry, actin immunofluorescence was confined to the subplasmalemmal regions, while tubulin and tropomyosin immunofluorescence appeared throughout the entire cytoplasm of normal chromaffin cells. After the stress, the immunofluorescence for actin and tubulin increased in intensity, while that for tropomyosin decreased. Immunogold labelings for actin and tubulin were found mainly on the thinner subplasmalemmal microtrabeculae and the thicker perikaryal ones, respectively, while some were deposited in the form of small aggregates on portions of microtrabeculae. No specific association between the gold labelings for actin or tubulin and the chromaffin granules was found, even in the subplasmalemmal regions. A hypothetical interpretation was proposed in which a more compact lattice of the microtrabeculae in spatial association with a looser lattice represents a gelated state of the cytoplasm. The significance of the gel-sol transition of the cytoplasmic matrix in relation to the secretory mechanism was discussed.
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ABSTRACT: Embedment-free electron microscopy using polyethylene glycol as a transient embedment has revealed that slender strands, originally termed microtrabeculae and microtrabecular lattices, interconnect every organelle and conventional cytoskeletons as well as plasma membranes, resulting in the formation of 3-D meshworks in all portions of the cytoplasmic matrix of every cell. The microtrabeculae correspond well to the wispy components in the cytoplasmic matrix of conventionally epoxy-sectioned cell specimens that have been looked at but often neglected because of their poorly defined images due to the presence of embedding media having a substantial electron-scattering property. Because of the occurrence of similar meshworks in specimens that are supposed to be unstructured, such as the intramitochondrial matrix and blood plasma, together with the failure to detect any predictable changes of the microtrabecular lattices by experimental manipulation of cellular environments, it is inaccurate to conclude that all microtrabecular lattice represent structures equivalent to those in a living state of cells simply because of their clear appearance. Instead, three possible interpretations are newly proposed for the biological significance of the microtrabecular lattices. The first is that the appearance of lattices represents the presence of proteins, and that their approximate concentrations are speculated based on the compactness of the lattice. The second is that when an intracellular microdomain composed of more compact lattices is contiguous with another domain composed of looser lattices in a given cell, the former might represent the gelated state and the latter the solated state. Possible examples for these two interpretations are also proposed, possibly leading us to further elaborate the significance of microtrabecular lattices.Anatomical Science International 04/2003; 78(1):17-24. DOI:10.1046/j.0022-7722.2003.00035.x · 0.84 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Adrenal chromaffin cells (ACCs) secrete several neuroactive substances that are effective in influencing pain sensitivity in the central nervous system as well as enhancing the recovery of the intrinsic nigrostriatal dopaminergic system in patients with Parkinson's disease. ACC transplantation may be upregulated by the use of three-dimensional (3-D) scaffolds. In this study, we determined whether biodegradable poly(D,L-lactic-coglycolic acid) (PLGA) (85:15) sponges could be used as support for chromaffin cells. ACCs were isolated from bovine adrenal glands by standard perfusion (95% purity) followed by additional purification (>99.5% purity). ACC (approximately 5 x 10(5) cells) suspension in collagen (type I) was seeded on prewetted sponges and cultured in DMEM-F12 (1:1) medium (5% fetal bovine serum). The catecholamine and enkephalin levels of the samples were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography and radioimmunoassay. Cell morphology was examined by transmission electron microscopy. Morphological evidence showed prolonged viability of chromaffin cells on scaffolds having pores of 250-400 microm. Cell counts and scanning electron microscopy demonstrated that the majority of seeded cells were located within the scaffold. Chromaffin cells exhibited higher levels of enkephalins and catecholamines on PLGA scaffold compared with their monolayer cultures. By the use of 3-D PLGA as support for ACCs, it is possible to upregulate metabolic function and localize a high number of morphologically healthy-looking cells. Highly purified ACCs cultured on PLGA scaffold may have promise in transplantation studies, because these cells are less immunogenic and may be applied to in vivo settings by using short-term immunosuppression.Tissue Engineering 10/2003; 9(5):1047-56. DOI:10.1089/107632703322495682 · 4.25 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The 'universal cell reaction' (UCR), a coordinated biphasic response to external (noxious and other) stimuli observed in all living cells, was described by Nasonov and his colleagues in the mid-20th century. This work has received no attention from cell biologists in the West, but the UCR merits serious consideration. Although it is non-specific, it is likely to be underpinned by precise mechanisms and, if these mechanisms were characterized and their relationship to the UCR elucidated, then our understanding of the integration of cellular function could be improved. As a step towards identifying such mechanisms, I review some recent advances in understanding cell mechanics and the stress response and I suggest potentially testable hypotheses. There is a particular need for time-course studies of cellular responses to different stimulus doses or intensities. I also suggest a correspondence with hormesis; re-investigation of the UCR using modern biophysical and molecular-biological techniques might throw light on this much-discussed phenomenon.BioEssays 04/2007; 29(4):324-33. DOI:10.1002/bies.20550 · 4.84 Impact Factor