In cells of the teleost retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), melanin granules disperse into the RPE cell's long apical projections in response to light onset, and aggregate toward the base of the RPE cell in response to dark onset. The RPE cells possess numerous microtubules, which in the apical projections are aligned longitudinally. Nocodazole studies have shown that pigment granule aggregation is microtubule-dependent (Troutt, L. L., and B. Burnside, 1988b Exp. Eye Res. In press.). To investigate further the mechanism of microtubule participation in RPE pigment granule aggregation, we have used the tubulin hook method to assess the polarity of microtubules in the apical projections of teleost RPE cells. We report here that virtually all microtubules in the RPE apical projections are uniformly oriented with plus ends toward the cell body and minus ends toward the projection tips. This orientation is opposite that found for microtubules of dermal melanophores, neurons, and most other cell types.

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