Fine structure of the rhombencephalic tela of the bullfrog, Rana catesbeiana
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The posterior rhombencephalic tela choroidea of the bullfrog was examined by electron microscopy. This membrane, the pia-ependymal roof of the caudal hindbrain, contains a large central region characterized by cuboidal ependymal cells which surround sizable microscopic apertures — the interependymal pores.
Ultrastructurally ependymal cells of this area are characterized by infrequent apical microvilli and cilia. They contain irregularly shaped nuclei and few cytoplasmic organelles that are largely apical in position. The most striking feature is an abundance of cytoplasmic filaments forming an extensive cytoskeleton. Laterally these cells are joined by numerous elaborate desmosomes. The majority of the ependymal cells have a basal lamina consisting of single, double, or triple laminae lying parallel to the basal plasma membrane.
Several unusual specializations are seen at the margins of the interependymal pores. The ependymal cells have lateral cytoplasmic processes that form the actual border of each pore. These processes originate from the apical surface of the cell and partially enclose an elaborate network of basal lamina associated with the interependymal pores.
These findings demonstrate microscopic apertures in the roof of the fourth ventricle in the bullfrog that are associated with an unusual form of supportive ependyma.
Key wordsEpendyma Ultrastructure Posterior tela choroidea Rhombencephalon Rana catesbeiana
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