Transmission electron microscopy
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary Transmission electron micrographs of the mesonephric nephron in 18 day rabbit embryos reveal major cytological structures reappearing in the nephron of the definitive rabbit kidney. The initial segment of the proximal tubule resembles (despite quite different cell proportions) the cell picture of the metanephric S2-segment. The changes occurring at the end of the terminal proximal segment, the decrease in cell size, flattening of the nuclei, shortening of the brush border and reduction of Golgi profiles and endocytotic organelles largely parallel those between S2 and S3. The type of increased basolateral cell face of the proximal and distal tubule cells shows only quantitative differences to their metanephric counterparts. The distal tubule, which cannot be further subdivided (except the macula densa-region) exhibits varying degrees of cell interdigitations with vertically arranged and partially arching lateral ridges. This tubule matches closely the metanephric medullary straight part of the distal tubule, so that the sequence of the first mesonephric nephron segments is similar to the metanephric ones with the exception that the thin limb of Henle is absent. The large macula densa-region is characterized by its cell height and distended infranuclear spaces. The principal cells of the collecting tubule, with a few basal infoldings and intense short lateral interlockings resemble metanephric cells of the outer medullary collecting duct. The mitochondria-rich intercalated cells occur in dark and light contrasting forms and are more frequent than was evident from our SEM-study. The homogeneous cell population of the Wolffian duct is characterized by large glycogen deposits and comparatively smooth cell faces.
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