Tight endothelial junctions in the developing microvasculature: a thin section and freeze-fracture study in the chick embryo optic tectum.

B. Nico, D. Cantino, M. Bertossi, D. Ribatti, M. Sassoé, L. Roncali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The development of the interendothelial tight junctions was studied in the microvessels of the otpic tectum of chick embryos, at the 14th-16th and 18th-20th incubation day (i.d.), and in post-hatching chickens, using thin sections and freeze-fracture techniques. At the 14th-16th i.d., the junctional plasmamembranes of the endothelial cells are simply apposed or fused for brief tracts showing a pentalaminar or trilaminar configuration. In the replicas the P-faces of the fractured junctional membranes are either lacking in intramembrane particles (IMPs) and characterized by finger-like depressions, or provided with discrete IMPs aligned in rows. At the 18th-20th i.d., the thin peripheral expansions of the endothelial cells are superimposed and welded by continuous pentalaminar junctions. Their fracture P-faces display junctional strands formed by parallel fibrils of fused IMPs, with or without interconnections. In the 10-day-old chickens the junctions consist of highly complex networks of fibrils. The results have made it possible to recognize precise relationships between the features of the developing endothelial junctions in the ultrathin sections and, respectively, in the replicas. Moreover, the observations suggest that tight junction formation occurs progressively in the cerebral microvessels by processes of alignment and fusion of the IMPs, which conclude with the arrangement of fibrils in networks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-95
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Submicroscopic Cytology and Pathology
Volume24
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Histology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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