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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A fine structural study of adhesive cell junctions in heterotypic cell aggregates

  • Author(s): Armstrong, PB
  • et al.

Mixed suspensions of cells obtained by dissociation of 7 day chicken embryo heart and pigmented retina were allowed to reaggregate in tissue culture. The reaggregates which resulted contained both kinds of cells. Establishment of homogeneous tissues by cell sorting out in these reaggregates was advanced by 20 hr in culture and was complete within 2 days. When sorting out was advanced, heterotypic aggregates were fixed, sectioned, and examined in the electron microscope. Particular attention was paid to the morphology of regions of contact between cells. No qualitative differences were observed in the contact junctions between like cells (heart-heart or pigmented retina-pigment retina junctions) and unlike cells (heart-pigmented retina junctions). Broad areas of undifferentiated cell contact with cell membranes separated by a 100-200 A gap were formed regardless of cell type. Specialized junctions of the fascia and macula adherens type were also present not only between like cells but also between unlike cells. © 1970, Rockefeller University Press. All rights reserved.

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