In the present investigation, the sites of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) synthesis and the fate of labeled deoxyribonucleoprotein (DNP) were studied in autoradiographs of ultrathin sections viewed with the electron microscope. Tritiated thymidine was employed as a label for DNA in the nuclei of proliferating cells of regenerating salamander limbs. In the autoradiographic method reported here, dilute NaOH was used to remove the gelatin of the emulsion after exposure and development. The exposed silver grains are not displaced by this treatment and the resolution of fine structure in the underlying section is greatly improved. Our observations suggest that the DNP component is a meshwork of interconnected filaments 50 to 75 A in diameter, which may be cross-linked to form what Frey-Wyssling would term a "reticular gel." The filamentous DNP meshwork is dispersed throughout the interphase nucleus during DNA synthesis, whereas in chromosomes, which are relatively inert metabolically, the meshwork is denser and is aggregated into compact masses. Dense chromatin centers in interphase nuclei are similar in fine structure to chromosomes and are also inert with respect to DNA synthesis. In the Discussion, the structure of the filamentous meshwork in chromatin is compared with that in chromosomes, and speculations are made as to the functional significance of the variations in DNP fine structure observed.

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