Toad spinal ganglion cells are individually enclosed in sheaths consisting of one or more attenuated layers of satellite cell cytoplasm surrounded externally by a basement membrane. Narrow (∼150 A) extracellular channels separate these layers from one another and from the underlying neuron. In both in vivo and in vitro experiments it was found that molecules of ferritin, a water-soluble protein, are to some extent able to pass across the basement membrane and through these channels to reach the neuronal plasma membrane. Ferritin particles arriving at the neuronal surface are engulfed by the neuron in 0.1 to 0.2 µ "coated" vesicles. The concentration of ferritin in these vesicles is higher than in the perineuronal space. The ferritin incorporated into the neuron is segregated, apparently intact, in multivesicular bodies. It is inferred that the 150A channels in the satellite cell sheath are patent, aqueous spaces through which molecules with a diameter as large as 95 A are able to pass, and that these neurons are capable of taking up whole protein from their immediate environment by the process of pinocytosis.

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