Melanophores of the angelfish, Pterophyllum scalare, were studied in an attempt to demonstrate the existence of actin in these cells although microfilaments had previously not been found. By use of a variety of procedures, including immunofluorescence microscopy of intact and detergent-extracted cells, transmission electron microscopy, high voltage electron microscopy of whole-mount preparations, and labeling with heavy meromyosin-subfragment 1, the presence of a loose cortical mesh of actin filaments is demonstrated. In addition, a more parallel array of filaments is detected in microspike- and microvillus-like surface projections. There seem to be no changes in the arrangement of these filaments as a function of the state of pigment distribution. No actin filaments could be found in association with pigment granules or microtubules in more central cell portions. For reasons presently unknown, the preservation of the cortical filament network in lysed cell preparations depends strongly on the presence of an intact microtubular system. The involvement of this subplasmalemmal actin filament network in pigment granule transport remains unclear.

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