Electron microscope observations of osmium tetroxide-fixed rat eggs indicate that small nucleoli are extruded from pronuclei in a sharply demarcated time period after sperm penetration. Approximately 4½ hours after sperm penetration, fine fibrous material aggregated in distinct loci along the inner surface of the nuclear envelope and condensed into small, dense bodies. The term tertiary nucleolus or extrusion body is used to designate the forming bodies. The small tertiary nucleoli form distinct protrusions from the pronuclei during the following developmental period and finally bud off into the cytoplasm, carrying with them a small portion of the double nuclear envelope. The extrusion bodies can be observed only in the vicinity of the pronuclei and have not been seen near the cell membrane. The fate of the tertiary nucleoli is not known; apparently they transform or disappear after they have passed into the cytoplasm. Eleven hours after sperm penetration, tertiary nucleoli are not present near the nuclear membrane and the extrusion activity has apparently ceased. Large and small nucleoli react similarly to cytochemical reagents: they are Feulgen negative; they are positive to the Millon, Sakaguchi, brom-phenol blue, and PAS reactions. Azure B stain combined with nuclease extraction indicates the presence of small amounts of RNA in the nucleoli.

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