3D topography of noncompact zone Golgi tubules in rat spermatids: A computer-assisted serial section reconstruction study

G Thorne-Tjomsland*, M Dumontier, JC Jamieson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In the golgi apparatus, the 3d topography of saccules in the compact zones (czs) is better understood than that of tubules in the noncompact zones (nczs). The positioning of ncz tubules relative to each other and to cz saccules was studied in rat spermatids by computer-assisted serial section microscopy. Methods twenty-four (semi) serials (3-6 consecutive sections each) in total were collected from untreated tissues and from tissues treated for glucose-6-phosphatase (g6p) cytochemistry as an alignment tool. The serials proceeded along either the cis-trans or the medial-lateral axes of the golgi and collectively sampled all portions of this organelle. Selected serials were computer reconstructed and the final models displayed in red-green/red-blue stereo. Results in single thin sections, ncz tubules typically appeared randomly oriented; however, in serial sections a high degree of organization was evident. Most tubules were traceable to the type of tubular networks (tns) that interconnect equivalent cz saccules (see review rambourg and clermont, 1990) such tns were present at consecutive saccular levels through each ncz, were stacked like the saccules from which they originate, and in many regions were aligned from cis-trans. The cis-most of the tns projected above the cis-pole of the stacked saccules and were penetrated by coated and uncoated er buds. Conclusions the function of the extensive ncz tubular domain, consisting of the stacked and aligned tns, will have to be addressed in future studies. However, the specific topography of the cis-most tns make them candidates to serve as acceptor membranes in er-golgi transport. Anat. Rec. 250:381–396, 1998.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-396
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Golgi
  • ER-Golgi
  • Golgi tubules
  • spermatid
  • computer reconstruction
  • ultrastructure


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