Absence of axonemal arms in nasal mucosa cilia in Kartagener's syndrome


A TOTAL lack of axonemal arms in the spermatozoa of infertile men has been described1–3 and those results included those from four men, three of whom had situs inversus of the thoracic organs while the fourth was a brother to one of the others. The total absence of axonemal arms (dynein arms) was deemed to be responsible for the complete immobility of their sperm tails. Kartagener's syndrome4 exhibits the following symptoms: chronic sinusitis, bronchiectasis and situs inversus. Sperm flagella and cilia have similar ultrastructure in principle, so it was thought possible that the respiratory tract symptoms in patients with Kartagener's syndrome might be caused by a lack of dynein arms in the cilia. We have thus investigated the cilia of Kartagener patients at the substructural level.

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