Scanning electron microscopy and freeze-etching of gonorrhoeal urethral exudate

Br J Vener Dis. 1975 Apr;51(2):83-91. doi: 10.1136/sti.51.2.83.


Urethral exudates from male patients with gonorrhoea were studied by use of the critical point drying technique for scanning electron microscopy. The surfaces of phagocytes were extensively ruffled. This was interpreted to be the three-dimensional appearance of pseudopodia. Epithelial cells present in the urethral exudate showed a highly convoluted surface structure. Specimens of urethral exudate prepared by the freeze-etch technique showed that most N. gonorrhoeae were engulfed individually in phagocytes. Some phagosomes contained two or more gonococcal cells. Phagocytes containing gonococci were degranulated, but small granules were present in the phagosomes. Nuclear pores on the surface of the nuclear membrane were always associated with an indentation of the nuclear membrane. The outer layer of the nuclear membrane was smooth compared to the inner layer,

MeSH terms

  • Cell Membrane / ultrastructure
  • Cell Nucleolus / ultrastructure
  • Cell Nucleus / ultrastructure
  • Cytoplasmic Granules / ultrastructure
  • Exudates and Transudates / metabolism*
  • Exudates and Transudates / microbiology
  • Freeze Etching
  • Gonorrhea / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae / ultrastructure*
  • Phagocytes / ultrastructure*
  • Phagocytosis
  • Pseudopodia / ultrastructure
  • Urethra / metabolism*
  • Urethra / pathology