Cell surfaces in the duodenal mucosa have been studied in maturing tissue of the chick from incubation until hatching. Changes in the distribution of mitoses in this tissue give an indication of its rate of maturation. This rate is paralleled in developmental changes in microvilli and junctional complexes. Concentration of mitotic figures towards the base of villous folds is gradual from day 9 to day 16, then rapid to day 19, after which the mature pattern is acquired. By day 11, microvilli appear in a regular pattern which does not alter through hatching. Their height remains the same to day 16 when it increases gradually to day 19, then very sharply. The angle formed between the microvilli and the cell surface increases gradually to day 16, giving evidence of advancing internal structure. Changes in cell adhesion also occur at day 16. Thereafter, following trypsin treatment cells are held together in patches by the tight junctions of the terminal bar, although the desmosomes are separated. The timing of these morphological changes is compared with that of alkaline phosphatase accumulation in this tissue as reported by Moog (13). Increase in the surface area of the microvilli parallels the increase in the activity of the enzyme.

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