Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The Golgi apparatus of epididymal principal cells shares many structural features with other cell types. Saccular regions are arranged in a cis-Golgi network, eight flattened saccules, and several trans-Golgi networks (TGNs). Dilated tubules form intersaccular connecting regions which joint together saccules at the same or different levels between adjacent stacks. Wells exist as large perforations in register with the four cis-most saccules and serve as areas of vesicular interactions. TGNs are variable and can appear to peel off the stack or to be detached from it in the form of an anastomotic tubular network with pale dilated areas corresponding to prosecretory granules connected by short narrow bridges. Elongated or discoid dilated cisternae of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) (sparsely granulated) lie over the cis face of the stack, from which they are separated by an intermediate compartment filled with vesicles and tubules. The ER is also closely juxtaposed to the TGNs and the eighth saccule but interconnections are never seen between them. Vesicles of the COP variety reside at all levels of the stack and appear to bud off the cis-located ER and the edges of the saccules, while clathrin-coated vesicles appear mainly on the trans face of the stack and next to lysosomes. In the supranuclear cytoplasm, clusters of vesicles and tubules, at times budding off enveloping ER, appear to radiate toward the Golgi stacks where they fuse with cis Golgi elements. Taken together, these observations suggest dynamic functions and interactions for the various Golgi elements, associated vesicles, ER, and vesicular tubular clusters.
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