Ultrastructural localization of glycerolipid synthesis in rod cells of the isolated frog retina

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Cancer Biology

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Document Type



Animals; Autoradiography; Axonal Transport; Choline; Endoplasmic Reticulum; Glycerol; Glycolipids; Leucine; Microscopy, Electron; Phospholipids; Photoreceptor Cells; Rana pipiens; Retina; Synapses


Cancer Biology | Neoplasms


The incorporation of two glycerolipid precursors, 3H-glycerol and 3H-choline, into rod cells of the isolated frog retina has been studied using quantitative electron microscope autoradiography. The results indicate that the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is the major site of early incorporation of these precursors suggesting that the ER is the primary site of lipid synthesis. Of the different types of ER present in rod cells, the rough ER (RER) and nuclear envelope predominate in this activity. The organized region of smooth ER (SER) in the subellipsoid region does not appear to be of major quantitative importance, although SER closely intermingled with RER in the myoid region may be involved to some extent. We also compared the pattern of labelling observed at various incubation times in 3H-glycerol and 3H-choline with that observed with 3H-leucine. Differences were observed between the pattern of lipid and protein labelling, particularly in the labelling of the Golgi apparatus, mitochondria, plasma membrane, presynaptic terminals and outer segments. This suggests that lipids and proteins may differ in some aspects of the routes and mechanisms by which they are transported from their sites of synthesis to the membrane delimited compartments for which they are destined.


J Neurocytol. 1982 Apr;11(2):295-322.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of neurocytology

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