In the electron microscope, thin sections of OsO4-fixed myelin figures from the phospholipide fraction of human brain show a pattern of parallel dark lines with a repeating period of about 40 A. It is shown that the dark lines probably represent the reaction product of OsO4 with double bonds in the fatty acid chains, thereby marking the central portion of one bimolecular lamella. The addition of globin results in dense lines 25 to 50 A wide that cover the surface of the myelin figures. When such a figure consists of only two bimolecular leaflets of lipide covered with globin, the structure shows striking similarity to the image of cell membranes in fixed tissue sections. A hypothetical schema is given of the molecular structure of the figure, and the distribution of OsO4 in it.

This content is only available as a PDF.