The random cell movement of BALB/c 3T3 and SV40 virus-transformed BALB/c 3T3 cells within homogeneous aggregates was studied by observing the degree of penetration of newly attached [3H]thymidine-labeled cells into the interior of the aggregates. The 3T3 cells penetrated into 3T3 aggregates an average of 0.89 cell diameter in 1.5 days, whereas the SV40-3T3 cells penetrated into SV40-3T3 aggregates an average of 3.20 cell diameters in the same time. Treatment of the aggregates with theophylline, theophylline plus prostaglandin E1, or theophylline plus dibutyryl cyclic AMP all decreased the penetration of the SV40-3T3 cells into SV40-3T3 aggregates (2.36, 1.22, and 0.79 cell diameters, respectively). The same treatments had little effect on 3T3 aggregates. The ultrastructure of 3T3 and SV40-3T3 cells in aggregates was examined by transmission electron microscopy. The 3T3 cells in aggregates were surrounded by microvilli and lamellipodia which were in contact with neighboring cells, whereas SV40-3T3 cells were nearly devoid of microvilli and lamellipodia and made contact at broader, less regular surface undulations. Treatment with theophylline plus dibutyryl cyclic AMP resulted in the appearance of microvilli on SV40-3T3 cells and also appeared to increase the area of intercellular contacts in both 3T3 and SV40-3T3 cells. These observations were supported for the surface cells of the aggregates by scanning electron microscopy.

This content is only available as a PDF.