The superficial squamous cells of rat transitional epithelium are limited, on their luminal face, by an asymmetrically thickened membrane. Patches of similar thick membrane are found in the walls of the Golgi cisternae and it is suggested that the Golgi system is the site of assembly of the thick plasma membrane. This implies membrane flow from the Golgi apparatus to the cell surface, and there is indirect evidence that the membrane is transported in the form of fusiform vacuoles, derived from the Golgi cisternae, which fuse with, and become part of, the free cell membrane. Uptake of injected Imferon shows that similar, large, thick-walled vacuoles may be formed by invagination of the free cell surface. Some of these vacuoles are subsequently transformed into multivesicular bodies and autophagic vacuoles. The formation of other large heterogeneous bodies is described, and some of these are shown to have acid phosphatase activity.

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