The myoids of retinal cone cells of the blue-striped grunt (Haemulon sciurus) undergo significant elongation during dark adaptation of the retina. Longitudinally oriented microtubules are present in myoids both before and after elongation. Injection of colchicine into the vitreous of the eye in vivo disrupts the microtubules in the myoids and prevents dark-adaptive myoid elongation. Counts of microtubules in transverse sections along the lengths of elongating myoids show that there is a uniform decrease in the number of microtubules at any one point along the myoid as the myoid elongates. The magnitude of the decrease is proportional to the extent of the elogation. The product of the mean myoid microtubule number (determined from counts at progressive intervals along the myoid) and the myoid length remains essentially constant during myoid elongation, indicating that the total quantity of microtubules in the myoid does not increase with elogation. Serial section tracings of the microtubules along the myoids suggest that individual microtubules do not extend the length of the myoid and that the myoid microtubular apparatus consists of bundles of overlapping shorter microtubules. We propose that elongation of the myoid is accompanied by sliding redistribution of microtubules along the length of the myoid, and that the sliding may be generated by interaction between microtubules in regions where they closely overlap in bundles. We find no evidence for the involvement of discrete, electron-dense microtubular organizing centers in myoid elogation.

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