List of abbreviations
of micros-
specialist terms
explained in
English +

Every attempt was made to provide correct information and labelling, however any liability for eventual errors or incompleteness is rejected!

dieser Seite

Dr. med.
H. Jastrow

of use
Overview dense bodies (Areae densae):
Pages with explanations are linked to the text below the images if available! (Labelling is in German)
area densa + actin filaments
of a smooth muscle cell 1 (rat)
actin filaments & area
densa, smooth muscle cell 2 (rat)
detail of the previous image area densa + actin filaments
of a smooth muscle cell 3 (rat)
actin filaments , synapse en pass-
ent smooth muscle cell (rat)
longitudinal section of a
smooth muscle cell (monkey)
smooth muscle cell,
actin filaments (monkey)
organelles + actin filaments
smooth muscle cell (monkey)
smooth muscle cell in
cross-section (monkey)
dense bodies, arteriole wall
in cross-section (rat)
Dense bodies or  attachment plaques (Terminologia histologica: Areae densae) are electron-dense zones attached to the cell membrane of smooth muscle cells. They consist of very densely packed actin filaments, large amounts of alpha-actinin and vinculin (molecular weight 130.000 Da). The actin filaments are attached to alpha-actinin which is tightly bound to vinculin. The latter is fixed to integral proteins of the cell membrane (alpha- und beta-Integrin). Alpha-Integrin is connected to extracellular Fibronectin. Thus smooth mucle cells are anchored to adjacent connective tissue. In short dense bodies connect intracellular actin filaments to the cell membrane and serve as insertion for cellular contraction.

--> smooth muscle cells, actin filaments
--> Electron microscopic atlas Overview
--> Homepage of the workshop

Four images were kindly provided by Prof. H. Wartenberg; other images, page & copyright H. Jastrow.