High endothelial cells lining the post capillary venules in the paracortical areas of rat lymph nodes were found by autoradiography to incorporate [35S]sulphate, whether it was injected into the footpad to reach the draining popliteal lymph node or added to short-term cultures of cervical lymph node slices. The early localization of [35S]sulphate was confined to the Golgi apparatus, but before it disappeared from the cell radioactivity was associated with cytoplasmic vesicles. Sulphated material in macromolecular form was extracted from lymph nodes that had been labelled in vivo and was also found in the supernatant of lymph node cultures. The labelled material was not proteoglycan in nature. High endothelial cells apparently secrete a sulphated macromolecule but its relationship to the only known function of high-walled endothelium—the selective extraction of lymphocytes from the blood—remains to be clarified.
- © 1982 by Company of Biologists