Ultrastructure of the epithelial cells of the endolymphatic duct in the rat

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The ultrastructure of the epithelial cells of the endolymphatic duct in the rat is described, following vascular perfusion-fixation of live, anaesthetised and artificially respirated animals. The animals were fixed by means of a pressure feed-back controlled peristaltic pump and an isotonic perfusate-fixative containing glutaraldehyde and Dextran. The endolymphatic duct was isolated by microdissection after the perfusion-fixation, to omit the step of a demineralization procedure. The proximal, intermediate and juxta-saccular parts of the endolymphatic duct were embedded, sectioned and studied separately in the electron microscope. Postfixation in a solution containing OsO4 and potassium ferricyanide revealed a well-developed tubulo-cisternal endoplasmic reticulum (TER), not previously described. Serial sectioning and computerized three-dimensional reconstruction demonstrated a continuity of the TER through the cell from subsurface cisterns abutting on the apical cell membrane to subsurface cisterns abutting on the basolateral cell membrane. The TER resembles that found in solute transporting epithelia, e.g., renal proximal tubule, gall bladder, small intestine and choroid plexus. A fluid resorptive capacity of the epithelial cells of the endolymphatic duct is compatible with the fine structure revealed in the present study. Epithelial cells in the juxta-saccular part of the duct display morphological indications of a secretory activity; furthermore, multivesicular bodies were observed in the epithelial cells throughout the endolymphatic duct.

Original languageEnglish
Book seriesActa Oto-Laryngologica. Supplement
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)30-9
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1994

    Research areas

  • Animals, Basement Membrane, Cell Membrane, Cilia, Cytoplasm, Desmosomes, Endolymphatic Duct, Endolymphatic Sac, Endoplasmic Reticulum, Epithelium, Glycogen, Golgi Apparatus, Intercellular Junctions, Microscopy, Electron, Microtubules, Microvilli, Rats, Rats, Wistar, Saccule and Utricle, Vacuoles, Vestibular Aqueduct, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

ID: 176771347