Ultrastructural basis for ciliary dyskinesia

K. Kilburn, P. Adshead, R. Thurston, R. Hess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ultrastructural consequences of ciliary stoppage in freshwater mussel Unio gill cilia after exposing them to inhibitory substances were investigated. The time from exposure to dyskinesis and to stopping was measured. Cilia were fixed for electron microscopy when about to stop, when stopped and during recovery. These were compared to those fixed in the control state. Exposure of freshwater mussel cilia to solutions of sucrose, sodium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, calcium chloride and Gey's balanced salt of 300, 150 and 80 mOsm/L and human serum diluted to 1 to 4 in water stop cilia within 3 min (quick stop). This is accompanied by disappearance of the 9 doublet pairs of microtubules in electron photomicrographs. Dyskynetic cilia show partial loss of definition of microtubules while recovering cilia with disturbed beating are similar. Stopped cilia resumed beating either on continued exposure to hyperosmolar solutions or when returned to water. In gill cilia exposure to osmolalities above 50 mOsm/L stop cilia and cause disappearance of microtubules. Preliminary studies with hamster tracheal rings suggest that mammalian tracheal cilia are affected by osmolar changes but in a higher osmolar range than mussel gill cilia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)No. 1174
JournalFederation Proceedings
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1975
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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