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An ultrastructural study of primary cilia, abnormal cilia and ciliary knobs from the ciliated cells of the guinea-pig trachea



An ultrastructural study of primary cilia, abnormal cilia and ciliary knobs from the ciliated cells of the guinea-pig trachea



Cell and Tissue Research 220(4): 685-697



Single primary cilia are found in developing as well as mature ciliated cells of guinea-pig tracheal epithelium. A few biciliated cells were observed, and in a rare case one cell had developed four such processes. Primary cilia are characterized by a 9 + 0 microtubular arrangement near the base, while a transition to an 8 + 1 pattern occurs at a slightly more distal position. Spokes are lacking, and dynein arms are absent or incompletely developed. The function, if any, of primary cilia remains unknown. In the population of the motile 9 + 2 cilia atypical forms are very rare, i.e. less than 0.1%. Of the various abnormalities cilia with supernumary microtubules are most common. Only one atypical basal body was observed. Although some of the aberrant forms undoubtedly are non-motile, their very low number suggests that they have no practical influence on the muco-ciliary clearance. Local extrusions of the ciliary membrane, here named ciliary knobs, are believed to be fixation artefacts. It is suggested that they represent circumscribed regions of the ciliary membrane which are sensitive to changes in the environmental osmotic pressure.

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Accession: 042252664

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 7296649

DOI: 10.1007/bf00210455


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