Arginine-vasopressin-induced structural alterations in MDCK cells
The present study deals with an analysis of specific traits of cell vacuolation induced by water flow and ADH. During incubation of frog urinary bladders in Ringer's solution diluted 2-fold, the water content of the bladder wall increased by an average of 19%. In case of ADH-stimulated water flow the water content increased by an average of 15.7%. Cell swelling induced by hypotonic conditions on the serosal side resulted in a drastic decrease of the response to the hydroosmotic action of ADH. Electron microscopy revealed significant differences between cells hydrated in the above conditions. Two-fold hypotonicity of the serosal solution caused a slight swelling of all types of cells accompanied by a narrowing of intercellular spaces. With ADH stimulation of water transport (at maximal water movement) granular cells were characterized by the presence of irregularly shaped giant vacuoles with processes. The limiting membranes of the vacuoles were closely connected with microtubules and microfilaments. The electron microscopic study of these cells by the freeze-substitution method revealed, in addition to giant vacuoles, a highly complex system of microtubules 35-40 nm in diameter. A morphological similarity was observed between the vacuolar systems of these granular cells and the contractile vacuole complex of protozoans. Possible mechanisms for the participation of giant vacuoles, electron-dense canaliculi, microtubules and microfilaments in transcellular water flow across epithelium are discussed.