Pharmacological evidence is presented for the involvement of microtubules in the process of fast axoplasmic transport. A quantitative measure of the inhibition of axoplasmic transport in an in vitro preparation of rat sciatic nerve is described. The alkaloids colchicine, podophyllotoxin, and vinblastine, which are known both to disrupt microtubules and to bind to the protein subunit of microtubules, are inhibitors of axoplasmic transport. Lumicolchine and picropodophyllin, unlike their respective isomers colchicine and podophyllotoxin, are poor inhibitors of axoplasmic transport. The dissociation constants for the binding of colchicine, lumicolchicine, podophyllotoxin, and picropodophyllin to purified microtubule protein from rat brain have been measured. Inhibition of axoplasmic transport by these drugs correlates favorably with their affinities of microtubule protein.

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