Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
This study describes intercellular bridges in the ovaries of neonatal gerbils. Electron microscopy has revealed the presence of true intercellular bridges, connecting oogonia or oocytes, in ovaries of newborn gerbils. The cytoplasm of the intercellular channels is similar to that of the connected cells, with mitochondria, smooth and rough endoplasmic reticulum, and free ribosomes present. Lysosomes are also occasionally present in the intercellular bridges and they may be involved in early waves of oocyte atresia. An electrondense substance, 350-500 Å thick, is located immediately beneath the unit membrane of the intercellular bridges. Accumulation of electron-dense material increases the thickness of the walls of the intercellular bridges, supporting and maintaining the patency of the channels. It is suggested that the intercellular channels probably allow the interchange of nutrients, organelles, and possibly regulatory materials as well.
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