Fixation by osmium tetroxide and glutaraldehyde of zymogen granules isolated from rat parotid and pancreas was investigated. Protein determinations showed that osmium tetroxide caused rapid release of most of the soluble protein of the granule during fixation in buffered isotonic sucrose. Such granules when examined in the electron microscope after shadow casting appeared quite flat, indicating that most of the contents had indeed been removed. Numerous damaged membranes of the granules were also observed. In contrast, zymogen granules fixed by glutaraldehyde and shadow cast essentially retained the spherical shape and the protein contents. The application of the shadow-casting technique in quantitative studies on the protein content of zymogen granules is discussed.

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