The ultrastructural localization of von Willebrand factor in endothelial cells

Am J Pathol. 1984 Nov;117(2):310-5.


Factor VIII-related antigen was localized ultrastructurally in a variety of human tissues (smooth muscle, skeletal muscle, breast, capillary hemangioma) with the use of a low-temperature embedding protein A-gold technique with both polyclonal and monoclonal antisera directed against von Willebrand factor. All endothelial cells examined localized the anti-von Willebrand factor to Weibel-Palade bodies. Cisternae of the endoplasmic reticulum, and cytoplasmic vacuoles were also labeled. These results establish the distribution of factor VIII-related antigen at the subcellular level. The observed distribution suggests that the endothelial cells synthesize von Willebrand factor, store it in Weibel-Palade bodies, and release it by exocytosis. These observations provide in vivo confirmation for previous biochemical and immunocytochemical data obtained from studies on cultured endothelial cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens / analysis
  • Antigens / immunology
  • Blood Coagulation Factors / analysis*
  • Endothelium / metabolism
  • Endothelium / ultrastructure*
  • Factor VIII / analysis
  • Factor VIII / immunology
  • Hemangioma / ultrastructure
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Humans
  • Immunochemistry
  • Inclusion Bodies / ultrastructure
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / ultrastructure
  • von Willebrand Factor / analysis*
  • von Willebrand Factor / biosynthesis
  • von Willebrand Factor / immunology


  • Antigens
  • Blood Coagulation Factors
  • von Willebrand Factor
  • Factor VIII