Scanning Microscopy


Seventy-one chick embryos of both sexes at the 35 Hamburger and Hamilton (H-H) developmental stage were processed for scanning electron microscopy of vascular corrosion casts and of critical point dried specimens, as well as transmission electron- and light microscopy, in order to study the angiogenic structures. The gonadal subepithelial capillary network was located at the level of the tunica albuginea under the covering epithelium. The casts showed a densely-meshed capillary network and numerous sprouting (nodular protrusions or capillary sprouts) and non-sprouting (enlarged vessels and angiogenic holes) angiogenic structures that were randomly distributed and mixed. Four types of angio-genic holes were encountered in the casts: primary (diameter < 2.5 μm), secondary (diameter > 2.5 μm), tertiary (variable diameter and circular narrowings on one side), and open angiogenic holes. We suggest that the different morphologies reflect evolution of these holes. Furthermore, the open angiogenic hole would probably either form nodular protrusions at its open ends, which tend to join with other nodular protrusions and neighboring capillaries and form new vessels; or there would be fusion with two or more neighboring open holes. Correlative critical point dried sections showed fenestrations in the capillary walls and transcapillary pillars that corresponded to the angiogenic holes found in the casts. Ultrathin sections of the vessels presented typical characteristics of growing endothelium: large nuclei with loosely textured chromatin, abundant cytoplasm rich in cell organelles and intraluminal endothelial processes.

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