Particulate structures in the cytoplasm of HeLa and other cultured cells in interphase undergo rapid individual linear displacements (long saltatory movements, LSM). By the use of time-lapse microscopy to locate saltating particles prior to fixation and histochemical examination of the cells, structures of several kinds have been shown to move in this manner. Elements that show LSM include lysosomes, pinosomes, ingested carbon particles, lipoidal granules, and unidentified particles that appear as bright objects in positive phase contrast. The pattern of movement of the particles suggests the presence of linear guiding elements radially disposed from the cytocenter (centriole region). The participation of microtubules in these movements is inferred from the observation that LSM cease after treatment with drugs which depolymerize microtubules, i.e., colchicine, Vinblastine, and podophyllin. The directions of the microtubules in the cytoplasm of HeLa cells found by electron microscopy are consistent with the aster-like configuration predicted from study of LSM. Further support for this arrangement of cytoplasmic microtubules is provided by light microscope observations of colchicine-sensitive radial arrays of acid phosphatase granules in the cytoplasm of some cell lines.

This content is only available as a PDF.