Collagen fibrillar networks as skeletal frameworks: A demonstration by cell-maceration/scanning electron microscope method

O. Ohtani, Takehito Taguchi, T. Taguchi, A. Kikuta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

193 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A cell-maceration/scanning electron microscope (SEM) method was employed to demonstrate the arrangement of the collagen fibrillar network of various tissues. Immersion of fixed tissue in NaOH (25°C) for 3-7 days, followed by rinsing in distilled water succesfully removed the cellular elements, exposing collagen fibrils which were identified as such transmission electron microscopy in their natural locations. SEM observations of the preparations are able to demonstrate the three-dimensional architecture of collagen fibrils much more precisely than other methods, including the silver impregnation method. Collagen fibrils, forming sheaths for housing individual cardiac myocytes, fused together, thus ensuring an equal stretch of contiguous myocytes and preventing the slippage of adjacent cells. Individual skeletal muscle fibers and nerve fibers were ensheathed by the meshwork of collagen fibrils running in two opposite helices. Such structures seem to play an important role in resisting the stretching impetus. At the epithelial-connective tissue junction of the tongue and fingertip skin, interwoven collagen fibrils formed numerous microridges which probably provide a broad anchorage for the epithelium. In the intestinal mucosa, the collagen fibrillar network immediately below the basal laminae of the villous epithelium possessed heterogeneous pores. As the collagen fibrillar network shows morphological-features specific to individual organs and tissues, it is suggested that such formations not only constitute the skeletal framework but also provide those cells which are housed there with a microenvironment suitable for their activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-261
Number of pages13
JournalArchives of Histology and Cytology
Volume51
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1988

Fingerprint

Fibrillar Collagens
Collagen
Electrons
Epithelium
Skeletal Muscle Fibers
Immersion
Intestinal Mucosa
Transmission Electron Microscopy
Nerve Fibers
Silver
Tongue
Basement Membrane
Cardiac Myocytes
Connective Tissue
Muscle Cells
Skin
Water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology

Cite this

Collagen fibrillar networks as skeletal frameworks : A demonstration by cell-maceration/scanning electron microscope method. / Ohtani, O.; Taguchi, Takehito; Taguchi, T.; Kikuta, A.

In: Archives of Histology and Cytology, Vol. 51, No. 3, 1988, p. 249-261.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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