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Junctional complex, TEM

Junctional complex, TEM

C009/3425

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Credit

DON W. FAWCETT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DON W. FAWCETT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Color enhanced transmission electron micrograph of the epithelial junctional complex in apical-based sequence of intestinal epithelium of a rat. Composed of the zonula occludens (tight junction), the zonula adherens (intermediate junction), and the macula adherens (desmosome). The zonula occludens is a belt-like specialization in which the adjacent unit membranes converge and fuse, obliterating the intercellular space over variable distances. The membranes commonly fuse at multiple levels within the zonula to form local pentalaminar regions separated by short segments in which the membranes are closely opposed, but not fused. At the zonula adherens, the membranes course parallel over a distance of 0.2 to 0.5 micrometers, and are separated by a 25.

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