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Extramembraneous particles and structural variations of tubular myelin figures in rat lung surfactant.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Ultrastructure Research
0022-5320
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
86
Issue
1
Pages
57–66
Identifiers
PMID: 6204064
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Tubular myelin figures of pulmonary surfactant were examined by electron microscopy after fixation in glutaraldehyde and postfixation in an osmium tetroxide-ferrocyanide mixture. Bilayered membranes were seen as parallel arrays or as lattices with spacings varying from about 36 to 50 nm. This method also produced good visualization of drumstick-like particles, 5 nm in diameter and about 15 nm in length. The particles were regularly spaced at intervals of 16 nm in rows along the rectangular angles of myelin membranes. Depending on the size of the tubules the particles contacted each other in the center of the tubules at low diameters (tubular diameter less than 40 nm) and formed a continuous filamentous central core, or they were separated from one another (tubular diameter greater than 40 nm). In the latter case the central core had a hollow appearance. Based on further findings employing tannic acid, lipid extraction with 2,2-dimethoxypropane, and a ruthenium red-osmium tetroxide technique for the demonstration of polyanionic proteins it is suggested that these particles are protein in nature and that they are involved in the formation and maintenance of the structure of tubular myelin. A new concept of the ultrastructure of tubular myelin figures is proposed.

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