Ultrastructural identification of human fetal Purkinje fibres-a comparative immunocytochemical and electron microscopic study of composition and structure of myofibrillar M-regions

Sture Forsgren, Eva Carlsson, Emanuel Strehler, Lars Eric Thornell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Human fetal Purkinje fibres have in the present study for the first time been identified at the ultrastructural level. This has been accomplished by a comparison of light microscopic criteria for identification (high content of the intermediate filament protein skeletin and high cholinesterase activity) with immunohistochemical and ultrastructural observations of the myofibrillar M-band. In sections incubated with antibodies against the M-line protein MM-creatine kinase the Purkinje fibres showed a cross-striated fluorescence pattern, while the ordinary ventricular myocytes did not. Ultrastructurally a subendocardial cell population in the ventricles was distinguished from ordinary myocytes by containing electron dense M-bands. Since MM-creatine kinase is considered to make an essential contribution to the electron density of the M-band we conclude that the ultrastructurally distinguished cell population represents the Purkinje fibres. In some areas of the atria the myofibrils were also labelled by MM-creatine kinase antibodies and contained electron dense M-bands. This indicates that myofibrillar differentiation proceeds independently in different cardiac tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)437-449
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology
Volume14
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1982

Keywords

  • Conduction system
  • Electron microscopy
  • Human fetal heart
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mhofibrillar M-band
  • Ordinary myocardium
  • Purkinje fibres

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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