The location of calcium in a rapid-frozen and freeze-substituted maturation stage enamel organ of the rat incisors was demonstrated by means of the glyoxal bis(2-hydroxy anil) (GBHA) staining method, which formed insoluble red precipitates of calcium-GBHA complex. In the ameloblast layer, highly GBHA-reactive tubulo-vesicular structures corresponding to mitochondria and some other membrane-bound structures were localized in both ruffle-ended and smooth-ended ameloblasts, although no significant GBHA reaction was localized in the nucleus, Golgi region, nor along the plasma membrane of these cells. In addition, numerous granular GBHA reactions appeared exclusively in association with the ruffled border of ruffle-ended ameloblasts. GBHA reactions were positive, but were considerably weaker in papillary cells than in the ameloblast. These observations provide a first published histochemical mapping of calcium in the maturation stage enamel organ, and suggest the active participation of mitochondria in maturation stage ameloblasts in calcium regulation.
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