Advertisement

Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Membrane specializations of the cells of the Harderian gland of the rabbit with particular reference to the mechanism of exocytosis

  • 29 Accesses

  • 6 Citations

Summary

Membrane specializations of the cells of the red and white lobe of the Harderian gland, especially membrane differentiations involved in exocytosis, as well as granule interactions were investigated by means of the freeze-fracture and thin-section techniques. Gap junctions are numerous between both types of glandular cells. Tight junctions consist of about five strands, loosely arranged and often fragmented. Large secretion droplets of both cell types containing different kinds of lipids are formed by fusion. The adjacent granule bilayers are devoid of intramembrane particles (IMP) at the fusion site.

During exocytosis the large secretion droplets of the red-lobe cells often cause the plasma membrane to bulge out extensively into the lumen. The overlying plasmalemma as well as the granule membrane show IMP-free patches. Secretion granules of the white-lobe cells, smaller in volume, deform the plasma membrane only slightly when lying in close apposition. The distribution of IMP on the plasmalemma of the white-lobe cells remains random at the side of impending fusion. Thin sections sometimes reveal, in this stage of exocytosis, a single unit membrane but never a pentalaminar structure. Both cellular components of the Harderian gland, when pretreated identically, show different membrane reactions with respect to IMP-clearing during exocytosis. This leads to the conclusion that IMP-clearing may not be responsible for membrane fusion but for other complex events in the regulation of membrane to-membrane interactions.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Ahkong OF, Fisher D, Tampion W, Lucy JA (1975) Mechanisms of cell fusion. Nature 253:194–195

  2. Björkman N, Meander L, Schantz B (1960) On the histology and ultrastructure of the Harderian gland in rabbits. Cell Tissue Res 52:93–104

  3. Ceccarelli B, Gohovaz F, Hurblut WP (1979a) Freeze-fracture studies of frog neuromuscular junctions during intense release of neurotransmitter. I. Effects of black widow spider venom and Ca2+ -free solutions on the structure of the active zone. J Cell Biol 81:163–177

  4. Ceccarelli B, Gohovaz F, Hurblut WP (1979b) Freeze-fracture studies of frog neuromuscular junctions during intense release of neurotransmitter. II. Effects of electrical stimulation in high potassium. J Cell Biol 81:178–192

  5. Chandler DE, Heuser J (1979) Membrane fusion during secretion. J Cell Biol 83:91–108

  6. Chi EY, Lagunoff D, Koehler JK (1976) Freeze-fracture study of mast cell secretion. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 73:2823–2827

  7. De Camilli P, Peluchetti D, Meldolesi J (1974) Structural difference between luminal and lateral plasmalemma in pancreatic acinar cells. Nature 248:245–246

  8. De Camilli P, Peluchetti D, Meldolesi J (1976) Dynamic changes of the luminal plasmalemma in stimulated parotid acinar cells. J Cell Biol 70:59–74

  9. Galli P, Brenna A, De Camilli P, Meldolesi J (1976) Extracellular calcium and the organization of tight junctions in pancreatic acinar cells. Exp Cell Res 99:178–183

  10. Heuser JE, Reese TS, Landis DMD (1974) Functional changes in frog neuromuscular junctions studied with freeze-fracture. J Neurocytol 3:109–131

  11. Heuser JE, Reese TS, Landis DMD (1976) Preservation of synaptic structure by rapid freezing. Cold Spring Harbor Symp Quant Biol 40:17–24

  12. Ishimura K, Okamoto H, Fujita H (1976) Freeze-etching observations on the characteristic arrangement of intramembranous particles in the apical plasma membrane of the thyroid follicular cells in TSH-treated mice. Cell Tissue Res 171:297–303

  13. Ishimura K, Kawamata S, Fujita H (1981) Freeze-fracture images of mammary glands of lactating mice. Anat Embryol 163:173–183

  14. Jost U, Kühnel W, Schimassek H (1974) A morphological and biochemical analysis of the Harderian gland in the rabbit. Cytobiol 8:440–456

  15. Kühnel W (1971) Struktur und Cytochemie der Harderschen Drüse von Kaninchen. Z Zellforsch 119:384–404

  16. Meldolesi J, Borgese N, De Camilli P, Ceccarelli B (1978) Cytoplasmic membranes and the secretory process. In: Poste G, Nicolson GL (eds) Membrane fusion. North-Holland Publishing Company — Amsterdam, New York, Oxford

  17. Orci L, Perrelet A, Friends DS (1977) Freeze-fracture of membrane fusion during exocytosis in pancreatic B-cells. J Cell Biol 75:23–30

  18. Ornberg RL, Reese TS (1981) Beginning of exocytosis captured by rapid-freezing of Limulus amebocytes. J Cell Biol 90:40–54

  19. Peracchia C, Peracchia LL (1980a) Gap junction dynamics. Reversible effects of divalent cations. J Cell Biol 87:708–718

  20. Peracchia C, Peracchia LL (1980b) Gap junction dynamics. Reversible effects of hydrogen ions. J Cell Biol 87:719–727

  21. Plattner H (1974) Intramembranous changes on cationophore triggered exocytosis in paramecium. Nature 252:722–724

  22. Poste G, Nicolson GL eds (1978) Membrane fusion. Elsevier/North-Holland Biomedical Press Amsterdam

  23. Sakai T (1981) The mammalian Harderian gland: Morphology, biochemistry, function and phylogeny. Arch Histol Jpn 44:299–333

  24. Satir B, Schooley C, Satir P (1973) Membrane fusion in a model system. J Cell Biol 56:153–176

  25. Tanaka Y, De Camilli P, Meldolesi J (1980) Membrane interactions between secretion granules and plasmalemma in three exocrine glands. J Cell Biol 84:438–453

  26. Theodosis DT, Dreifuss JJ, Orci L (1978) A freeze-fracture study of membrane events during neurohypophysis secretion. J Cell Biol 78:542–553

  27. Venzin M, Sandri C, Akert K, Weiss UR (1977) Membrane associated particles of the presynaptic active zone in rat spinal cord. A morphometric analysis. Brain Res 130:393–404

  28. Wooding FBP (1980) Lipid droplet secretion by the rabbit Harderian gland. J Ultrastruc Res 71:68–78

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Dr. Elke Winterhager.

Additional information

Dedicated to Professor Dr. H. Leonhardt, Kiel, in honour of his 65th birthday

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Winterhager, E., Kühnel, W. Membrane specializations of the cells of the Harderian gland of the rabbit with particular reference to the mechanism of exocytosis. Cell Tissue Res. 231, 623–636 (1983). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00218120

Download citation

Key words

  • Harderian gland
  • Rabbit
  • Exocytosis
  • Junctions
  • Freezefracture