Anterior polar cataracts in CS rats: a predictor of mature cataract formation.
PURPOSE: The objective of this study was to characterize the morphology of the anterior opacities formed during recovery from posterior subcapsular cataract (PSC) in Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rats. METHODS: Lenses from RCS rats at 8 and 12 weeks postnatal (n = 14 and 12, respectively) were examined under a dissecting microscope for the presence of anterior opacities. Lenses with anterior opacities were fixed, embedded in epoxy resin, and sectioned along the optic axis for light microscopy (LM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). RESULTS: At eight weeks postnatal, 21.5% of animals (3/14) had anterior cataracts. Light microscopy of 1- to 2-microm-thick sections revealed an anomalous layer of material located at the epithelium-fiber interface, which was identified as a zone of liquefaction by TEM. Epithelial cells had minor structural defects but were not necrotic. Anterior portions of elongating and cortical fibers under the zone of liquefaction were undisrupted, whereas their posterior portions had numerous vacuoles. The anterior opacities were classified as anterior polar cataracts (APCs) based on the location and type of morphologic damage in the affected lenses. At twelve weeks postnatal, 25% of animals (3/12) had APCs that involved prominent vesiculation of the anterior cortex. Ultrastructural examination showed that large vesicles were located between and inside anterior fibers and that most extracellular spaces were abnormally widened. Posteriorly, internalization of the PSC by new fiber growth was disordered and displayed vesiculation and density variations. In the bow region, LM revealed minor structural irregularities that were identified as groups of apparently degenerating fibers by TEM. CONCLUSIONS: APCs in RCS rats are caused by degeneration of elongating fibers in the bow region and subsequent damage in the superficial anterior cortex. The percentage of animals with APCs (25%) was consistent with the percentage of animals in which mature cataracts eventually develop. The morphologic changes, time of onset, and percentage of animals affected suggest that APC is the initial manifestation of mature cataract formation in RCS rats. (+info)
A new rapid technique for the fixation of thyroid gland surgical specimens.
One of the main diagnostic problems in thyroid pathology is to distinguish between follicular adenoma and follicular carcinoma. Thorough sampling of the nodule's capsule is recommended in order to identify capsular invasion. However, during the hardening of the tissue, by the usual fixatives the capsule shrinks and rolls downwards and sometimes the capsule separates from the remaining tissue. The present work evaluates the use of "Lymph Node Revealing Solution" (LNRS) for the rapid fixation (2h) of different thyroid lesions as compared to that of formalin. Fifty-one unselected consecutive cases of thyroid nodules, which included various benign and malignant lesions, were examined. Each specimen was cut in two equal parts; one was fixed in LNRS, the other in formalin. Fixation in LNRS for 2 hours gave adequate results in sectioning and staining of the tissue, and excellent immunostains. Its advantage over formalin is the conservation of the natural relationship between the capsule and the rest of the tissue, on the same plane, as well as the short time required for the final diagnosis. (+info)
Vaccination with experimental feline immunodeficiency virus vaccines, based on autologous infected cells, elicits enhancement of homologous challenge infection.
Cats were vaccinated with fixed autologous feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)-infected cells in order to present viral proteins to the immune system of individual cats in an MHC-matched fashion. Upon vaccination, a humoral response against Gag was induced. Furthermore, virus-neutralizing antibodies were detected in a Crandell feline kidney cell-based neutralization assay, but not in a neutralization assay based on primary peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Despite the induction of these FIV-specific responses, vaccinated cats were not protected. Instead, accelerated virus replication was found, an observation similar to what previous experiments using other vaccine candidates have shown. Here, the results of the present study are discussed in the light of enhancement of lentivirus infections as a complicating factor in lentivirus vaccine development. (+info)
Functional and morphological correlates of connexin50 expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes.
Electrophysiological and morphological methods were used to study connexin50 (Cx50) expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Oocytes expressing Cx50 exhibited a new population of intramembrane particles (9.0 nm in diameter) in the plasma membrane. The particles represented hemichannels (connexin hexamers) because (a) their cross-sectional area could accommodate 24 +/- 3 helices, (b) when their density reached 300-400/microm2, they formed complete channels (dodecamers) in single oocytes, and assembled into plaques, and (c) their appearance in the plasma membrane was associated with a whole-cell current, which was activated at low external Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]o), and was blocked by octanol and by intracellular acidification. The Cx50 hemichannel density was directly proportional to the magnitude of the Cx50 Ca2+-sensitive current. Measurements of hemichannel density and the Ca2+-sensitive current in the same oocytes suggested that at physiological [Ca2+]o (1-2 mM), hemichannels rarely open. In the cytoplasm, hemichannels were present in approximately 0.1-microm diameter "coated" and in larger 0.2-0.5-microm diameter vesicles. The smaller coated vesicles contained endogenous plasma membrane proteins of the oocyte intermingled with 5-40 Cx50 hemichannels, and were observed to fuse with the plasma membrane. The larger vesicles, which contained Cx50 hemichannels, gap junction channels, and endogenous membrane proteins, originated from invaginations of the plasma membrane, as their lumen was labeled with the extracellular marker peroxidase. The insertion rate of hemichannels into the plasma membrane (80, 000/s), suggested that an average of 4,000 small coated vesicles were inserted every second. However, insertion of hemichannels occurred at a constant plasma membrane area, indicating that insertion by vesicle exocytosis (60-500 microm2 membranes/s) was balanced by plasma membrane endocytosis. These exocytotic and endocytotic rates suggest that the entire plasma membrane of the oocyte is replaced in approximately 24 h. (+info)
Aberrant death in dark chondrocytes of the avian growth plate.
Growth plate chondrocytes of embryonic chick femurs were examined by electron microscopy, cytophotometry and autoradiography. Apart from the well-described 'light' chondrocyte, a different 'dark' type of chondrocyte was present, comprising 10 - 35% of the cell population. They were found at all stages of chondrocyte differentiation and in all ages of the femurs studied. Well developed rough endoplasmatic reticulum and Golgi complex, many secretory vesicles, energetically active mitochondria and a lot of glycogen, indicating high activity of the cytoplasm, were combined with low RNA synthesis, gentle margination and scattered compaction of the chromatin. DNA cytometry revealed that most of dark cells were diploid, but 15 - 30% were tetraploid, with the absence of an S-phase. Substantial loss of DNA was found in about 10% of dark chondrocytes. The TUNEL reaction demonstrated a limited number of DNA strand breaks. Advanced dark cells possessed the nuclear features of both apoptosis and necrosis. Besides chromomeric-chromonemic compaction, a chromatin arrangement similar to that of prometaphase and metaphase, as well as amitotic nuclear segregation, all of them degenerative, were found. Our interpretation is that the dark chondrocytes undergo an aberrant type of cell death which may be combined with aberrant cell cycle. Cell death of dark chondrocytes is preceded by a pre-mortal burst of secretion. (+info)
Expression and localization of messenger ribonucleic acid for the vitellogenin receptor in ovarian follicles throughout oogenesis in the rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss.
The expression and localization of vitellogenin (VTG) receptor (VTGR) mRNA were identified throughout ovarian development in the rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss. Northern blot confirmed the presence of a transcript (approximately 3.9 kilobases [kb]) that was specific to the ovary. The expression of VTGR mRNA varied throughout ovarian development and was highest in previtellogenic ovaries and in ovaries at the onset of vitellogenesis containing ovarian follicles (OF) from 35 to 600 microm in diameter. In situ hybridization using 35S riboprobes showed that the transcription of the VTGR gene was initiated in OF measuring 45-50 microm in diameter, with transcripts being exclusively localized in the ooplasm. A dramatic increase in mRNA synthesis occurred during previtellogenic growth (OF from 50 to 200 microm); this was followed by a gradual decrease during the vitellogenic growth phase. VTGR mRNA was not detected in OF greater than 1000 microm in diameter (oocytes actively sequestering VTG). Immunocytolocalization of yolk proteins derived from VTG demonstrated that oocytes started to sequester VTG when they were around 300 microm in diameter, shortly after the time of maximal density of VTGR mRNA in the ooplasm. The timing of transcription of the VTGR gene, predominantly during previtellogenesis, suggests that the VTGR is recycled to the oocyte surface during the vitellogenic growth phase. (+info)
Differences in the width of the intercellular spaces in the epithelial basal infolding and the renal glomerular filtration site between freeze-substitution and conventional fixation.
After aldehyde prefixation, pretreatment with cryoprotectant and subsequent freeze-substitution with OsO4 in acetone (AC-FS), extensive gap junction-like close membrane appositions are frequently found in the basal infolding of the salivary gland epithelium, although the desmosomal intercellular space had the same width as with conventional electron microscopy. The intercellular space between podocyte pedicles and endothelial cells at the renal glomerular filtration site was narrower by the total width of 2 laminae lucidae following AC-FS than with conventional electron microscopy and was occupied by a homogeneous lamina densa without a lamina lucida, although no marked difference was discernable in the thickness of the lamina densa itself between the 2 preparative procedures. In addition, a decrease in the thickness of the glycocalyx was evident in the intestinal epithelial microvilli following AC-FS. It is thus likely that osmication in acetone at freezing temperatures remove the glycocalyx and related structures to a variable extent, and that this loss is responsible for reducing the intercellular spaces at some of the simple appositions narrower to the dimensions of the gap junction. It is also responsible for disappearance of the lamina lucida of the basement membrane. (+info)
Ultrastructural muscle damage in young vs. older men after high-volume, heavy-resistance strength training.
This study assessed ultrastructural muscle damage in young (20-30 yr old) vs. older (65-75 yr old) men after heavy-resistance strength training (HRST). Seven young and eight older subjects completed 9 wk of unilateral leg extension HRST. Five sets of 5-20 repetitions were performed 3 days/wk with variable resistance designed to subject the muscle to near-maximal loads during every repetition. Biopsies were taken from the vastus lateralis of both legs, and muscle damage was quantified via electron microscopy. Training resulted in a 27% strength increase in both groups (P < 0.05). In biopsies before training in the trained leg and in all biopsies from untrained leg, 0-3% of muscle fibers exhibited muscle damage in both groups (P = not significant). After HRST, 7 and 6% of fibers in the trained leg exhibited damage in the young and older men, respectively (P < 0.05, no significant group differences). Myofibrillar damage was primarily focal, confined to one to two sarcomeres. Young and older men appear to exhibit similar levels of muscle damage at baseline and after chronic HRST. (+info)