The interconnections and the surfaces of the striated muscle cells which occur in thoracic and in lung veins of the mouse were studied with the electron microscope. The osmium-fixed tissues were embedded in methacrylate or in araldite and sectioned with a Porter-Blum microtome. Many preparations were stained before embedding with phosphotungstic acid or after sectioning with uranyl acetate. Typical intercalated discs are observed in this muscle. They are similar to the discs found in heart muscle. These intercalated discs represent boundaries between separate muscle cells. Along the discs, cells are joined in planes normal to their myofilaments. The same cells are also joined in planes parallel to the myofilaments by means of lateral interconnections. These lateral cell boundaries are in continuity with the intercalated discs. Three morphologically distinct parts occur within the lateral cell interconnections: One is characterized by small vesicles along the plasma membrane, the second part has the structure of desmosomes, and a third part represents an external compound membrane (formed by the two plasma membranes of the adjoining cells) and is termed "quintuple-layered cell interconnection." Small vesicles and plasma membrane enfoldings along the free surface of muscle cells are interpreted as products of a pinocytosis (phagocytosis) process. Some of them are seen to contain small membrane-bounded bodies or granules. The free cell surface shows a characteristic outer dense layer ("basement membrane") which accompanies the plasma membrane. The topographic relation of this dense layer with the plasma membrane seems to vary in different preparations. The significance of this variation is not well understood. On two occasions a typical arrangement o vesicles and tubules was observed at Z band levels, just beneath the plasma membrane. These structures are believed to represent endoplasmic reticulum. Their possible significance for the conduction of excitation is discussed.

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