Alternate Title

Ultrastructure of Rodlet Cells: Response to Cadmium Damage in the Kidney of the Spot Leiostomus xanthurus Lacépède

Document Type



Rodlet cell ultrastructure was studied in normal and cadmium-damaged kidney tissues of the spot Leiostomus xanthurus, an estuarine teleost. Rodlet cells in control fish occurred in all parts of the nephron except the renal corpuscle, were oblong to pear-shaped (about 5x10 µm), and contained up to 30 rodlet bodies, a basally situated nucleus, poorly developed mitochondria, and a filamentous cortex. Desmosomes and tight junctions joined rodlet cells to kidney epithelial cells. After cadmium exposure, rodlet cells showed a range of responses from secretory stimulation to necrosis. Rodlet bodies, which were membrane-bound, club-shaped granules, were secreted by a merocrine process, apparently aided by contraction of the fllamentous cortex. New rodlet bodies were assembled in the Golgi apparatus. Mitochondria hypertrophied and developed well-defined cristae. The ultrastructural organization of the rodlet cells in this study and their responses to stimuli suggest that these are tissue or host cells rather than parasites as proposed by some authors. Further studies, however, are needed to confirm the nature of these cells.

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