The differentiating mouse oviduct has been used for the study of centriole morphogenesis because its epithelium is extensively ciliated and centriole formation occurs in a brief period after birth. Proliferative elements, consisting of an extensive fibrillar meshwork encrusted with 75 mµ granules, were encountered at all ages, but were the only centriole precursors present in younger animals (2–3 days). These large aggregates were found either physically associated with a mature centriole or alone, but never associated with procentrioles. It is likely, therefore, that although proliferative elements may be derived from preexisting centrioles, they do not directly produce new centrioles. An intermediate structure, the condensation form, found primarily in older animals (4–6 days), and produced by the packing of the proliferative element material, gives rise to daughter procentrioles. This association of procentriole and condensation form has been called a generative complex. Condensation forms undergo various stages of depletion, producing hollow spheres with thin walls or small osmiophilic aggregates as procentrioles grow in length and assemble their microtubules. From these observations it is concluded that synthesis of microtubular precursor protein is mediated by the mature centriole and that this protein is packaged into many condensation forms in order to allow the rapid assembly of a large number of centrioles in a brief period of time.

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