The formation of the mitotic spindle of the newt cell in tissue culture has been studied, using polarized light. The rate of formation was measured and it was shown that the spindle increased in length at a constant rate until the maximum was attained. During metaphase the spindle shortened to about 50 to 60 per cent of its original length, reaching a minimum just before anaphase. No birefringence was detected in late anaphase in the spindle region after the chromosome masses had separated.
The effects of certain compounds which are believed to inhibit protein synthesis were investigated. Chloramphenicol added in early prophase prevented the formation of a spindle of normal length. The possible relation of chloramphenicol to the synthesis of spindle proteins is discussed.