Cationized ferritin (CF) was injected interstitially to study the distribution of anionic sites on the basement membrane and abluminal aspect of the endothelium in the fenestrated capillaries of the mouse pancreas and intestinal mucosa. Extensive, but uneven removal of the basement membrane was obtained by collagenase perfusion of the vasculature before CF labeling. In the absence of collagenase treatment, CF label was essentially restricted to the lamina rara externa of the basement membrane and occurred in clusters distributed in a relatively ordered planar lattice. After collagenase digestion, labeling of the lamina rara interna and of the abluminal aspect of the endothelium became possible. In the lamina rara interna, the CF label occurred in clusters with a distribution comparable to that found in the lamina rara externa. On the abluminal aspect of the endothelium, the plasmalemma proper was extensively, though variably, labeled. Coated pits were heavily labeled, whereas the membranes and stomatal diaphragms of plasmalemmal vesicles and transendothelial channels remained free of CF decoration. In contradistinction with the heavy labeling of their luminal aspects, the abluminal surface of the fenestral diaphragms were free of any CF decoration. Pronase treatment removed all anionic sites detectable by CF binding. The findings establish the existence of differentiated microdomains on the abluminal aspect of the endothelial plasmalemma and suggest that the capillary wall selects permeant macromolecules according to charge, in addition to size.

This content is only available as a PDF.