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Observation of the Transport and Removal of Lipofuscin from the Mouse Myocardium using Transmission Electron Microscope

By Lei Wang, Chang-Yi Xiao, Jia-Hua Li, Gui-Cheng Tang, Shuo-Shuang Xiao

Posted 10 Mar 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.03.10.985507

This study was performed to investigate whether the lipofuscin formed within cardiomyocytes can be excluded by the myocardial tissue. We have provided indicators that can be used for future studies on anti-aging interventions. In the present study, the heart of a 5-month-old BALB/c mouse was obtained for resin embedding and ultra-thin sectioning. The specimens were observed under a Hitach 7500 transmission electron microscope, and the images were acquired using an XR401 side-insertion device. Lipofuscin granules are found abundantly in myocardial cells. Cardiomyocytes can excrete lipofuscin granules into the myocardial interstitium using capsule-like protrusions that are formed on the sarcolemma. These granules enter the myocardial interstitium and can be de-aggregated to form "membrane-like garbage", which can pass from the myocardial stroma into the lumen of the vessel through its walls in the form of soluble fine particles through diffusion or endocytosis of capillaries. Smaller lipofuscin granules can pass through the walls of the vessels and enter the blood vessel lumen through the active transport function of the capillary endothelial cells. When the extended cytoplasmic end of macrophages and fibroblasts fuse with the endothelial cells, the lipofuscin granules or clumps found in the cells of the myocardial interstitium are transported to the capillary walls, and then, they are released into the lumen of the blood vessel by the endothelial cells. The myocardial tissues of mice have the ability to eliminate the lipofuscin produced in the cardiomyocytes into the myocardial blood circulation. Although there are several mechanisms through which the myocardial tissues release lipofuscin into the bloodstream, it is mainly carried out in the form of small, fine, soluble, continuous transport.

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