SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

We have visualized the exocytosis of lysosomes into the peripheral circulation by the phagocytic endothelia of the venous sinuses of liver and bone marrow of rats. Perfusion fixation at normal body temperature produced images of the earliest stages of lysosomal exocytosis. After fixation at low body temperatures (7–12°C), advanced stages of this process became evident, showing extrusion of lysosomes and their contents into the circulation. It is postulated that this form of exocytosis has escaped structural detection because of its rapidity and relative infrequency as compared to merocrine secretory exocytosis, and that fixation at low body temperatures arrests or slows down these exocytic events in sufficient measure for ultrastructural visualization. The possibility that this lysosomal exocytosis contributes to the presence of lysosomal enzymes detected in the peripheral blood should be considered. In addition, it is likely that lysosomal degradation products may be discharged by exocytosis into the circulation.