Ultrastructural cytochemistry of atrial muscle cells: IX. Reactivity of specific granules in cultured cardiocytes

Cantin, M.; Tautu, C.; Ballak, M.; Yunge, L.; Benchimol, S.; Beuzeron, J.

Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology 12(10): 1033-1051


ISSN/ISBN: 0022-2828
DOI: 10.1016/0022-2828(80)90030-9
Accession: 070290537

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A technique for the culture of neonatal (2-3 day old) rat cardiocytes is described. With this technique, ventricular cardiocytes started beating earlier and lived longer. Atrial cardiocytes degenerated after 10 days of culture. Specific granules, mostly of the A type, were present in atrial but not ventricular cardiocytes at all times. These specific granules were argentaphobic when stained according to the periodic acid-thiocarbohydrazide-silver proteinate technique of Thiery. The core of these granules was moderately positive after staining fine sections with phosphotungstic acid at low pH. A similar reaction was shown in both atria and ventricle by the cell coat, residual bodies (C-granules) and Z-discs. The Golgi comples was more extensively stained by phosphotungstic acid in atrial than in ventricular cultured cardiocytes or in atrial and ventricular cardiocytes of young (3 and 13 day old) rats in situ. Multivesicular bodies with a dense core, thought to be crinophagic, identical to those already noted in the cells of various endocrine glands, were present, as in atrial cardiocytes in situ, in cultured atrial but not ventricular cardiocytes. They were Ag negative. Their dense core, as in situ, reacted to phosphotungstic acid but their matrix, contrary to classical multivesicular bodies without a dense core, did not. Numerous, small, phosphotungstic acid-positive vesicles were present in cultured atrial and in cultured ventricular cardiocytes. Vesicles of the same type were rare in either atrial of ventricular cardiocytes of young rats in situ. Glycogen, as revealed by the periodic acid Schiff and Thiery techniques, was equally abundant in cardiocytes in situ and in 1 day old cultures of cultured cardiocytes from atria and ventricle. Specific granules of cultured atrial cardiocytes are probably made up, as in situ, of glycoproteins.