To examine the selective permeability of the nephrons of lower vertebrates, the permeability of the glomerulus in the kidney of an arctic lamprey, Entosphenus japonicus (Martens), to native anionic ferritin or cationized ferritin was studied by observing the distribution of ionized anionic groups in renal tissues. The cationized ferritin molecules injected into the dorsal aorta penetrated rapidly into the glomerular basement membrane layer through fenestrae present in the capillary endothelium and were subsequently excreted into the urinary spaces via the interstices between foot processes of the visceral epithelial cells. Native anionic ferritin, on the other hand, passed only minimally through the capillary wall. Cytochemical staining of fixed tissue or perfusion of the kidney in situ with cationic cacodylate-iron colloid revealed that the ionized anionic groups of acid mucopolysaccharides were distributed on both the luminal and abluminal surfaces of endothelial cells, and in the thick fibrous lamina rara interna of the glomerular basement membrane; they were especially dense on the surfaces of visceral epithelial cells and their foot processes. These results suggest that the mesonephric glomerulus of the arctic lamprey possesses a functionally well developed anionic barrier system comparable to that of the mammalian metanephric glomerulus.
- Anionic barrier
- Cationic cacodylate-iron colloid
- Mesonephric glomerulus (lamprey)
- Native anionic and cationized ferritins
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Cell Biology