The endoplasmic reticulum is composed, in places, of stacks of parallel cisternae which are limited by membranes having great numbers of ribosomes attached to their outer surface. These are connected with other cisternae of similar structure but with fewer ribosomes and without preferred orientation. The latter extend in all directions from the stacked cisternae, branching and anastomosing freely so that the entire system of membrane-limited cisternae appears interconnected; a morphological condition suitable to serve as the basis for an active transport system. Within the stacked cisternae appear granules about 40 to 60 mµ in diameter. These are thought to represent the precursors of proteinaceous yolk, and the hypothesis is advanced that most of the intracisternal granules are synthesized here, possibly under the influence of the ribosomes. They then "flow" into and along the unoriented cisternae to regions where they collect, expand the cisternae, and undergo transformation into finely granular, relatively large proteinaceous yolk bodies. The mitochondria are somewhat pleomorphic, often show atypical cristae, and frequently contain a few dense granules. Lipid is abundant. Other cytoplasmic components are illustrated.

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