Sulfation and transport of basement membrane proteoglycans, as visualized by 35S‐sulfate radioautography in the endodermal cells of the rat parietal yolk sac

S. H. Fatemi, C. P. Leblond

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In the hope of clarifying the biogenesis of basement membrane proteoglycans, an injection of 35S‐sulfate was given to concepti of 12‐day gestant Sherman rats. The parietal wall of the yolk sac (including endodermal cells and the associated basement membrane known as Reichert's membrane) was removed at times varying from 7 min to 24 hr after injection and processed for electron microscopic radioautography. Silver grains were counted over the organelles of endodermal cells as well as over Reichert's membrane. Between 7 min and 2 hr after 35S‐sulfate injection, radioactivity was observed in the endodermal cells, while from 4 to 24 hr it was mostly present in Reichert's membrane. Detailed distribution of the cellular radioactivity at 7 and 15 min showed about 20% in the rough endoplasmic reticulum (rER), 60% in the Golgi apparatus, and 8% in secretory granules. The radiactivity present in rER and Golgi apparatus decreased to low levels by 2‐‐4 hr after injection. In secretory granules, radioactivity increased to reach a peak at 2 hr and then declined; moreover, only the granules associated with the trans Golgi face were radioactive at early time intervals, while those scattered through the cytoplasm and along the cell surface became radioactive at later times. Between 4 and 24 hr, radioactivity became negligible over all cell organelles, while it was collected in Reichert's membrane. Biochemical reports indicate that when 35S‐sulfate is added to organ cultures of Reichert's membrane and endodermal cells, about 90% of the incorporated which these proteoglycans acquire sulfate are likely to be those labeled at 7 min after 35S‐sulfate injection, that is, the Golgi apparatus and to a lesser extent the rER, whereas some labeling of the secretory granules located at the trans Golgi face is explained by rapid acquisition of sulfated proteoglycans from the Golgi apparatus. Label later appears in the secretory granules along the cell surface and, eventually, in Reichert's membrane. It is concluded that secretory granules transport newly formed proteoglycans from the Golgi apparatus to the outside for deposition into Reichert's membrane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-145
Number of pages19
JournalAmerican Journal of Anatomy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1985


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