Ultrastructure of the copper-accumulating region of the Drosophila larval midgut

Tissue Cell. 1971;3(1):77-102. doi: 10.1016/s0040-8166(71)80033-2.


The copper-accumulating region of the midgut is a mosaic of interstitial and cup-shaped, copper-accumulating cells. The cup of each cuprophilic cell is lined with a highly refractile border of long microvilli except in one strain where it is predominantly lamellar. The nucleus lies basally; the basal plasma membrane is fairly extensively infolded. Cytolysomes are abundant and increase in number with increasing copper content of the diet. The interstitial cells bear short, less regular microvilli and have a less electron-dense cytoplasm. The nucleus is apical, the mitochondria-associated basal membrane is very extensively infolded and cytolysomes are less abundant. Virus-like particles present in nuclei of both cell types increase in number with increasing copper concentration.