The Role of Lipid Bodies in the Microglial Aging Process and Related Diseases
The size, cellular location, and identity of surface-associated components were determined for lipid droplets in lactating cells. Transmission electron-microscopic measurements were made involving 3801 droplets in approximately 211 cells from three rats and 1197 droplets in 66 cells from a mouse. For the purposes of droplet evaluation, cells were divided into seven locations ranging from basal to secreting positions. Droplets were also categorized with respect to contact with other droplets, basolateral plasma membrane, mitochondria, Golgi apparatus, secretory vesicles, and endoplasmic reticulum-cytoplasm (ERC). Data on droplet size showed that droplet growth occurs mainly in the secretory position, confirming previously published findings. Lipid droplets from mouse tissue, although somewhat smaller in size showed similar growth trends to those of the rat. Data on numbers of droplet contacts and percentages of droplet circumferences involved in associations with other cell components showed that the dominant interaction of lipid droplets was with the ERC. However, intimate association of droplets with mitochondria was noted in all cellular locations. In addition, nursed animals exhibited a greater proportion of droplet surface association with secretory vesicles and less in contact with mitochondria in comparison to those not nursed. The significance of these relationships to milk synthesis and secretion is discussed.