The absorption of Thorotrast and saccharated iron oxide by the epithelium of the toad urinary bladder was studied by electron microscopy. Whether the toads were hydrated, dehydrated, or given Pitressin, no significant differences in transport of colloidal particles by epithelial cells were observed. This implies that these physiological factors had little effect on the transport of the tracer particles. Tracer particles were encountered in three types of epithelial cells which line the bladder lumen, but most frequently in the mitochondria-rich cells. Tracer materials were incorporated into the cytoplasm of epithelial cells after being adsorbed to the coating layer covering the luminal surface of the cells. In the intermediate stage (1 to 3 hours after introducing tracer) particles were present in small vesicles, tubules, and multivesicular bodies. In the later stages (up to 65 hours), the particles were more commonly seen to be densely packed within large membrane-bounded bodies which were often found near the Golgi region. These large bodies probably were formed by the fusion of small vesicles. Irrespective of the stages of absorption, no particles were found in the intercellular spaces or in the submucosa. Particles apparently did not penetrate the intercellular spaces of the epithelium beyond the level of the tight junction.

This content is only available as a PDF.