A study of the permeability of calf thymus nuclei isolated in sucrose was carried out with sucrose-14C, glycerol-14C, and carboxydextran-14C (molecular weight, 60,000–90,000). The results indicate that the nuclei are very permeable to both sucrose and glycerol but they exclude the carboxydextran. Results obtained with other low molecular weight non-electrolytes (malonamide-14C, erythritol-14C, D-arabinose-14C, and D-mannitol-14C) are in agreement with the view that the nuclei are freely permeable to these molecular species. A sucrose-impermeable space is also present in these preparations and it has been attributed to the presence of intact cells. The high permeability of nuclei to sucrose was confirmed with Ficoll-separated preparations. The possibility of the presence of a substantial particulate space that allows the penetration of dextran cannot be excluded by these experiments, and this space may correspond to damaged nuclei.

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