The isolation and cellular localization of a basic protein (histone) from central nervous tissue have been previously reported. In the tissues previously studied (nervous tissue, testis, liver, spleen, kidney, ovary), the basic protein was restricted in distribution to the nuclei of neurons and spermatogonia. In the present study, the temporal appearance of the histone within neurons and the changes in its distribution during ontogenesis were examined. The reaction between a fluorescent immune γ-globulin prepared against this purified tissue-specific histone and the neurons from the dorsal root ganglia of the rat was investigated. The dorsal root ganglia examined were those from fetuses, 2-, 10-, and 40-day-old rats, and from adult rats. At the earliest stages, only the nucleoli reacted. Subsequently, threads of fluorescent material were seen to emerge from the nucleoli. The extent of this reaction between the immune globulin and the threads within the nuclei continued to increase with maturation. No changes in fluorescence localization during development could be seen in the nuclei of neurons in the cerebellum or brain stem. The role that this tissue-specific histone may play in cell function is discussed.

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