Discussion of all aspects of cellular structure, physiology and communication.
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I have two questions concering the micrograph attached.
What would the function of this cell be?
and where would the vesicles come from?
Thank you for your help!!
Wikipedia has got lots of information on Vesicles.
That's a pretty weird vesicle, and it looks like it's got something in the middle of it that's another organelle entirely. I'll take your source's word for it that it's a vesicle, but it looks more like an inclusion (it looks a little bit like an apicomplexan caught at an odd angle by the section).
The very dark spots are material that's absorbed a lot of the stain - this would suggest lipids of some sort, reinforced by the blobby shapes.
My suspicion is that, if this is a question you're expected to answer rather than something you've found on your own, then you have a source with something very like this in it. But take it from someone who's done work in ultrastructure, that's an odd structure.
I think it's a mast cell. The numerous granules should have been a giveaway, but I didn't realize that mast cells could have so many microvilli. The thing in the center is the nucleus, I'm pretty sure, surrounded by lots of protein/histamine-rich granules. The surface villi reminded me a lot of brush border cells, which can also have vesicles and granules, but they aren't usually so prominent--but, more importantly, brush border cells are polar and form laminar structures and this was clearly an isolated non-polar cell. I was guessing it was some kind of storage or secretory cell with all those granules, but which one I couldn't say. Then I stumbled on a picture of a mast cell that looked similar enough to this one that I would be willing to call it a mast cell.
The mast cell is part of the immune system. It makes things like histamine, cytokines, and proteases and stores them in all those dense-looking granules. Their surfaces are coated with IgE receptors and when stimulated by IgE-antigen complexes, they release the contents of the granules into the surroundings to promote additional immune responses like signaling the migration of eosinophils/neutrophils into the area and/or complement activation.
It seems like if it was a mast cell mature enough to have all of those vesicular bodies, it would be well past the single central nucleus stage - they have partially fragmented lobular nuclei, I'm pretty sure.
I'm also unsure as to what's around it - it doesn't seem completely cellular, nor a connective matrix, nor support medium (although maybe that if it's overstained, which would explain the blackness of the vesicles).
Thank you so much for all your replies!
It is indeed a mast cell, I forgot to meantion that! Sorry! That fact meant nothing to me, so I guess that's why I forgot to mention it. Plus I was in a hurry. And I was so busy analysing vesicles that I didnt think to search 'mast cell'. oops.
The middle is a nucleus, surrounded by vesicles and a folded plasma membrane. I should have mentioned that too, but like I said I was stressed at the time and in a hurry.
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