Cationized ferritin (CF), introduced systemically in vivo or by perfusion in situ, binds preferentially to certain microdomains of the luminal plasmalemma of fenestrated capillaries (mouse pancreas and jejunum). The density and affinity of binding decrease in the following order: fenestral diaphragms greater than coated pits greater than plasmalemma proper. CF binds neither to the membrane of plasmalemmal vesicles and transendothelial channels nor to the corresponding stomatal diaphragms. The distribution pattern is the same when glutaraldehyde fixation precedes the administration of the tracer by perfusion, provided fixation is followed by quenching of residual free aldehyde groups. A much smaller cationic probe (alcian blue) perfused together with the fixative reveals a similar distribution pattern. The functional implications of the association of these microdomains with structures involved in capillary permeability are discussed.

This content is only available as a PDF.