Localization of atrial natriuretic peptide in caveolae of in situ atrial myocytes.
The plasma membrane-associated non-clathrin-coated vesicles called caveolae are multifunctional organelles thought to be implicated in the sequestration and transport of small molecules (potocytosis) as well as in the binding of Ca2+ ions, signal transduction, and processing of hormonal and mechanosensitive signals. We have previously suggested that the apparent contiguity of caveolar and atrial granule membranes observed in electron micrographs of in situ mouse atrial myocytes might reflect externalization of atrial natriuretic peptide through caveolae. Using Tokuyasu's classic technique, we now show by immunoelectron microscopy of glutaraldehyde-fixed and cryosectioned mouse and rat atria that antibody against atrial natriuretic peptide prohormone is present within caveolae of in situ atrial myocytes. We confirm this intracaveolar localization by stereoimaging colloidal gold-labeled antibody to the prohormone in electron micrographs of glutaraldehyde/osmium tetroxide-fixed positively stained atrial thin sections. Because profiles of caveolae were rarely immunolabeled with antibody against atrial peptide unless there was a profile of an immunolabeled atrial granule nearby in the subjacent cytoplasm, we concluded that the intracaveolar hormone was derived predominantly from a direct interaction of atrial granules with caveolae. Perturbations that markedly increase the rate of natriuretic peptide secretion via the regulated pathway, including atrial stretch, contractions, and increased external Ca2+ concentration, failed to alter caveolar immunostaining. These results suggest that atrial peptide can pass from atrial granules into caveolae by transiently open pathways between the interiors of granules and caveolae. The results are interpreted as suggesting the presence of a second pathway for externalization of atrial natriuretic peptide through caveolae in addition to the classic pathway for regulated atrial peptide secretion at noncaveolar plasmalemma.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association