Membrane Traffic After Inhibition of Endocytosis in Renal Proximal Tubules

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Title: Membrane Traffic After Inhibition of Endocytosis in Renal Proximal Tubules
Authors: Cui, Shiying; Christensen, Erik Ilso; Nielsen, Soren
Publisher: Journal of Structural Biology
Date Published: December 01, 1991
Reference Number: 360
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This study was performed to examine quantitatively the cellular organelles involved in membrane recycling after inhibition of luminal endocytosis in renal proximal tubules. Paraffin oil was microinfused into rat renal proximal convoluted tubules to prevent luminal endocytosis. After 1-2 hr the kidneys were fixed by perfusion and prepared for electron microscopy. Segment 1 proximal tubules infused with paraffin oil and control tubules from the same kidney were studied. In addition we examined proximal tubules from kidneys fixed by immersion 30 sec after removal of the kidney. In the oil-infused tubules the large endocytic vacuoles (greater than 0.5 micron) disappeared, the amount of small endocytic vacuoles (less than 0.5 micron) was reduced to about 10%, and the amount of dense apical tubules was significantly increased. The dense apical tubules were very seldom seen connected to the apical plasma membrane in controls but this was occasionally observed in tubules fixed by immersion and relatively often in oil-infused tubules. An ultrastructural morphometric analysis substantiated and extended the qualitative observations and provided quantitative estimates of volumes and surface areas for large endocytic vacuoles, lysosomes, mitochondria, small endocytic vacuoles, and dense apical tubules in control and experimental tubules. The results strongly support the suggestion that the dense apical tubules located in the apical cytoplasm represent the vehicle for the recycling of membrane from endocytic vacuoles back to the plasma membrane, and show that in renal proximal tubule cells small and large endocytic vacuoles are transformed into dense apical tubules when endocytosis is stopped.