The structure of the zona glomerulosa of the rat adrenal gland stimulated by sodium restriction has been studied by light and electron microscopy. The major changes observed during the course of the experiment in stimulated glands involve cytoplasmic droplets, mitochondria, and the endoplasmic reticulum. There is a progressive decrease in the number of cytoplasmic droplets of low electron opacity. Numerous, greatly elongated mitochondria containing parallel arrays of tubules are noted. These tubules extend from within the mitochondria through gaps in the mitochondrial-limiting membranes into the cytoplasm. In addition, amorphous intramitochondrial deposits, possibly aldosterone precursors, are seen. Increased amounts of smooth-surfaced endoplasmic reticulum, often showing complex arrangements, are another feature of the stimulated zona glomerulosa. Other alterations include the presence of large numbers of dense bodies as well as cytoplasmic droplets of high electron opacity. These observations are discussed in relation to the biosynthesis of aldosterone.
Experimental metastatic calcification in the proximal convoluted tubules of rat kidney, produced by large doses of vitamin D, has been studied with a variety of techniques. These techniques include the examination of thin sections of Araldite-embedded material under the electron microscope, selected area electron diffraction, and several histochemical methods. Two types of mineral are found in relation to the proximal convoluted tubule. The first form consists of aggregates of elongated crystals within cytoplasmic vacuoles of the proximal tubular cells. The dimensions of these crystals are consistent with those of hydroxyapatite. The other type of mineral deposit is found in and adjacent to the extracellular phase of the basal infoldings of these tubules. The latter deposits are made up of smaller crystals arranged in layers. These crystals could not be definitely identified by means of selected area electron diffraction. The observations are discussed in relation to calcium transport by the proximal convoluted tubule and also in terms of mechanisms of pathological calcification.