Scanning Microscopy


Studies of ion transport across respiratory epithelia are of great interest if we are to understand the pathophysiology of diseases such as cystic fibrosis in which ion transport is abnormal. Concentrations of elements were determined in various subcellular regions of normal or isoproterenol-treated hamster tracheal epithelium, using X-ray microanalysis of freeze-dried cryosections. Samples of trachea were taken from animals under anesthesia and either frozen in situ or dissected and plunge frozen. Concentrations of Mg, P, S, Cl, K and Ca were higher in cytoplasm and nuclei of control epithelial cells in dissected samples than in cryoneedle samples. Following treatment with isoproterenol, a large decrease in the concentration of Cl was observed. The results confirm that cyclic AMP-regulated chloride secretion is unaffected by anesthesia.

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