The effect of Colcemid on the in vivo system of regenerating rat liver and on the in vitro system of HeLa cell cultures was studied to determine some of the morphological and kinetic aspects of metaphase blockage and recovery. The results indicated that under certain conditions the blocking effects of the drug were reversed; a functional bipolar spindle reorganized, and normal division resulted. Individual HeLa cells were followed by time-lapse cinemicrography prior to, during, and after Colcemid treatment. There was no apparent effect on cells in interphase. Cells entered mitosis at a normal rate and passed through prophase. A spindle was formed in most cells, albeit deformed, stunted, or shrunken. Within a certain range of drug concentrations, the spindle lengths showed characteristic unimodal distributions. After a 2-hr exposure to the drug followed by 1 hr in fresh medium, spindle lengths were restored to normal. Cells arrested in metaphase for periods as long as 5 hr were capable of reconstituting a normal functional spindle. Cells blocked for periods longer than 5 to 6 hr failed to recover.

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