We have studied the transport of ferritin that was internalized by coated micropinocytic vesicles at the apical surface of the choroid plexus epithelium in situ. After ventriculocisternal perfusion of native ferritin (NF) or cationized ferritin (CF), three routes followed by the tracers are revealed: (a) to lysosomes, (b) to cisternal compartments, and (c) to the basolateral cell surface. (a) NF is micropinocytosed to a very limited degree and appears in a few lysosomal elements whereas CF is taken up in large amounts and can be followed, via endocytic vacuoles and light multivesicular bodies, to dark multivesicular bodies and dense bodies. (b) Occasionally, CF particles are found in cisterns that may represent GERL or trans-Golgi elements, whereas stacked Golgi cisterns never contain CF. (c) Transepithelial vesicular transport of CF is distinctly revealed. The intercellular spaces of the epithelium, below the apical tight junctions, contain numerous clusters of CF particles, often associated with surface-connected, coated vesicles. Vesicles in the process of exocytosis of CF are also present at the basal epithelial surface, whereas connective tissue elements below the epithelium are unlabeled. Our conclusion is that fluid and solutes removed from the cerebrospinal fluid by endocytosis either become sequestered in the lysosomal apparatus of the choroidal epithelium or are transported to the basolateral surface. However, our results do not indicate any significant recycling via Golgi complexes of internalized apical cell membrane.

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