Scanning Microscopy


Although vascular casts, obtained by injection with methacrylates, are frequently used to investigate the adult vascular system, little data are available for embryonic stages. In this paper we use MercoxR in quail embryos in the period of 2 to 7 days after incubation. The microvascular corrosion casts were evaluated in the scanning electron microscope (SEM) with special attention to the development and remodelling of the large arteries and veins. Our results show that the remodelling of the large arteries and veins together with their developing tributary vessels can be visualized from very early embryonic stages onwards. However, complete replication of a developing vascular system depends on diameter and regularity of the lumen. In the stages investigated, the vascular lumen, even of the largest vessels, is still very irregular. Detailed cellular characteristics like nuclear impressions of endothelial cells, as often seen in adult material, were seldom found in the embryos. To examine whether blind-ending sprouts are completely or incompletely replicated in a developing vascular system, additional series of quail embryos were stained immunohistochemically with a monoclonal antibody (MB1) specific for endothelial and hemopoietic cells. It seems that a plexus consisting of endothelial precursors (endothelial cells lacking a lumen) is present in the developing organ before the formation of a lumen and assembly into vessels, which are connected to an adjacent artery or vein. Expansion of the vascular system may in part be due to incorporation of these endothelial precursors in the wall of existing vessels.

Included in

Biology Commons