Immunocytochemical identification of cytoskeletal linkages to smooth muscle cell nuclei and mitochondria

Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 1990;17(1):11-8. doi: 10.1002/cm.970170104.


In avian smooth muscle cells, desmin-containing intermediate filaments (IFs) are a prominent component of the cytoskeleton and are readily seen in several domains, including the axial intermediate filament bundle (IFB). Both the nucleus and some of the mitochondria are partly surrounded by elements of the IFB. By using anti-desmin and protein-A-colloidal gold labeling, we have identified intermediate filaments that form linkages with the nuclear envelope and with mitochondria. These linkage regions seem to occupy a proportionately greater part of the mitochondrial surface than of the nuclear envelope. The existence of these linkages in smooth muscle cells is consistent with results that support similar linkages to mitochondria and other cellular structures in various cells that contain either vimentin or keratin IFs. These linkages could functionally restrain or assist in homeostatically restoring organelles to their normal position after the rearrangement that accompanies the substantial shortening of smooth muscle cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleus / chemistry*
  • Cell Nucleus / ultrastructure
  • Chickens
  • Cytoskeleton / chemistry*
  • Cytoskeleton / ultrastructure
  • Desmin / analysis*
  • Gizzard, Avian / ultrastructure
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Intermediate Filaments / chemistry
  • Intermediate Filaments / ultrastructure
  • Mitochondria, Muscle / chemistry*
  • Mitochondria, Muscle / ultrastructure
  • Muscle, Smooth / chemistry
  • Muscle, Smooth / ultrastructure*
  • Staphylococcal Protein A


  • Desmin
  • Staphylococcal Protein A