Regression of autophagic vacuoles in pancreatic acinar, seminal vesicle epithelial, and liver parenchymal cells: A comparative morphometric study of the effect of vinblastine and leupeptin followed by cycloheximide treatment

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Treatment of mice with both leupeptin (0.06 mg/g body wt) and vinblastine (0.05 mg/g body wt) for 2 h caused a many-fold enlargement of the autophagic-lysosomal compartment of pancreatic acinar, seminal vesicle epithelial, and liver parenchymal cells. In all three types of cells a predominance of large, dense bodies was seen after leupeptin treatment and that of typical autophagic vacuoles were seen after vinblastine treatment. An exponential decrease of the volume fraction of autophagic vacuoles was observed in leupeptin-treated cells after the administration of cycloheximide (0.2 mg/g body wt). The half-life of autophagic vacuoles estimated from the decay curve was 5.3, 5.7, and 6.6 min for pancreatic, seminal vesicle, and liver cells, respectively. Our data suggest that sequestered cytoplasmic material rapidly enters the lysosomes in leupeptin-treated cells and accumulates in this compartment. In contrast, no regression of the autophagic vacuole compartment of pancreatic and seminal vesicle cells was observed after the administration of cycloheximide to animals pretreated with vinblastine, and only a slight decrease was seen in liver cells. These observations show that the lifetime of autophagic vacuoles is prolonged by vinblastine resulting in their accumulation in the cells. However, our measurements also lend support to the view that in addition to the accumulatory effect on undegraded cytoplasmic material, stimulation of sequestration may play a role in the enlargement of the autophagic lysosomal compartment after treatment with leupeptin as well as with vinblastine in all three types of cells investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-251
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1988


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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