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Virchows Archiv A

, Volume 395, Issue 2, pp 133–144 | Cite as

Endothelium and “silver lines”

An electron microscopic study
  • Thomas Zand
  • Jean M. Underwood
  • John J. Nunnari
  • Guido Majno
  • Isabelle Joris
Original Articles

Summary

The significance of endothelial “silver lines” was studied by TEM in rat aortas after perfusion with glutaraldehyde followed by silver nitrate. Standard TEM technique proved unsatisfactory (coarse silver granules, imprecise localization, artefacts). Exposure of the silver-treated aortas to photographic fixer markedly improved the image of the deposits leaving fine, stable, uniform “residual granules” about 100 Å in diameter. Most of these granules were localized along the intercellular junctions; they also tended to pool in the basement membrane beneath each junction. This image suggests that the Ag+ ions pass through the junction, and react with its contents as well as with the basement membrane beyond it. A scheme is proposed to explain the reaction of Ag+ ions with anions and negatively charged radicals within the junction. It is concluded that the “silver lines” represent not only a histochemical effect, but also the visualization of a transendothelial electrolyte pathway.

Key words

Endothelium Permeability Electron microscopy Electrolytes Silver 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Zand
    • 1
  • Jean M. Underwood
    • 1
  • John J. Nunnari
    • 1
  • Guido Majno
    • 1
  • Isabelle Joris
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PathologyUniversity of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWorcesterUSA

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