Weibel-Palade body

From Academic Kids

In physiology, Weibel-Palade bodies are organelles in the endothelium, the cells lining all blood vessels. They are named after the two scientists who first described them in 1964.

The main constituent of Weibel-Palade bodies is von Willebrand factor (vWF), a multimeric protein involved in blood coagulation.

Production

Multimeric vWF is assembled in the Golgi apparatus from vWF dimers. The Golgi then buds off vesicles, covered in a lipid bilayer, which consist almost exclusively of vWF. The only parallel organelle in physiology is the alpha granule of platelets, which also contains vWF. Weibel-Palade bodies are the main source of vWF, though, and α-granules probably play a minor role.

History

Weibel-Palade bodies were initially described by the Swiss anatomist Ewald R. Weibel and the Romanian physiologist George Emil Palade in 1964. Prof. Palade was to win the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1974 for his work on the function of organelles in cells. Their observation was published in: Weibel ER, Palade GE. New cytoplasmic components in arterial endothelia. J Cell Biol 1964;23:101-112 (fulltext (http://www.jcb.org/cgi/content/abstract/23/1/101)).

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