Mesangial matrices act as mesangial channels to the juxtaglomerular zone. Tracer and high-resolution scanning electron-microscopic study

H. Makino, K. Hironaka, K. Shikata, Y. Nagake, I. Kumagai, N. Kashihara, Z. Ota

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15 Citations (Scopus)


The mesangium is centrally located in the glomerulus and plays an important role in the microcirculation within the glomerulus. In order to reveal the role of the mesangial matrix in the microcirculation, the movement of native anionic ferritin into the juxtaglomerular region was tracked following the intravenous injection of ferritin into rats. The three-dimensional ultrastructures of the mesangial matrix and juxtaglomerular apparatus were studied by conventional scanning and high-resolution scanning electron microscopy after removal of the cellular components. Many ferritin particles were observed from the glomerular capillary to the mesangial matrix, in the mesangial matrix of the juxtaglomerular apparatus and in the tubular lumen of the macula densa after the injection of ferritin. Secretion of macromolecules from the distal tubules seems to be one of the exits from the juxtaglomerular zone. The mesangial matrix was continuous from the vascularpole to the periphery like a branching tree. The intraglomerular mesangial matrix was continuous to the extraglomerular mesangial matrix in the juxtaglomerular region. The mesangial matrix appeared to consist of a polygonal meshwork structure of thin fibrils and pores with high-resolution scanning electron microscopy. The thinnest fiber was approximately 6-nm wide, and the pore size was averaged 20 nm in diameter. We were able to demonstrate the meshwork structure of the mesangial matrix, thus giving the morphological basis of the mesangial matrix to serve as mesangial pathway from the intraglomerular to the extraglomerular mesangial matrix.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-188
Number of pages8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1994



  • Ferritin
  • Glomerulus
  • High-resolution scanning electron microscopy
  • Juxtaglomerular apparatus
  • Mesangial matrix
  • Mesangium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Nephrology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Urology

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