Cells from a variety of sources, principally differentiating fibroblasts and smooth muscle cells from neonatal chicken and mammalian tissues and from organ cultures of chicken duodenum, were used as materials for an electron microscopic study on the formation of rudimentary cilia. Among the differentiating tissues many cells possessed a short, solitary cilium, which projected from one of the cell's pair of centrioles. Many stages evidently intermediate in the fashioning of cilium from centriole were encountered and furnished the evidence from which a reconstruction of ciliogenesis was attempted. The whole process may be divided into three phases. At first a solitary vesicle appears at one end of a centriole. The ciliary bud grows out from the same end of the centriole and invaginates the sac, which then becomes the temporary ciliary sheath. During the second phase the bud lengthens into a shaft, while the sheath enlarges to contain it. Enlargement of the sheath is effected by the repeated appearance of secondary vesicles nearby and their fusion with the sheath. Shaft and sheath reach the surface of the cell, where the sheath fuses with the plasma membrane during the third phase. Up to this point, formation of cilia follows the classical descriptions in outline. Subsequently, internal development of the shaft makes the rudimentary cilia of the investigated material more like certain non-motile centriolar derivatives than motile cilia. The pertinent literature is examined, and the cilia are tentatively assigned a non-motile status and a sensory function.

This content is only available as a PDF.