We investigated intercellular communication during the seventh and tenth cell cycles of Xenopus laevis development using microinjection of Lucifer yellow and FITC-dextran as well as freeze-fracture electron microscopy. We found that gap junction-mediated dye coupling visualized using Lucifer yellow was strongly cell cycle modulated in the tenth cell cycle. Cytoplasmic bridge-mediated dye coupling visualized via FITC-dextran was also, of course, cell cycle modulated. The basis of cell cycle-modulated gap junctional coupling was investigated by measuring the abundance of morphologically detectable gap junctions through the tenth cell cycle. These proved to be six times more abundant at the beginning than at the end of this cell cycle.

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