Periwinkle alkaloids in very low concentrations cause an intracytoplasmic sequestration of microtubule protein in the form of symmetrical, microtubular bodies. These crystals, which may measure up to 8 µ in length, appear within 30 min in L-strain fibroblasts in vitro, but they increase in incidence and size with time of exposure to the alkaloids. Similarly, if exposed to these compounds, human leukocytes in vitro contain identical crystalline structures. Neither colchicine nor puromycin prevents the formation of these bodies; the latter compound, however, retards crystal growth.
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