Spermatocytes of the crane-fly, Nephrotoma suturalis, were attached to electron microscope grids and then sheared by applying centrifugal force. Transmission electron microscopy of exposed regions of the cell cortex revealed networks containing arrays of filamentous structures. Networks were present in sheared spermatocytes at all stages of meiosis. The networks of dividing spermatocytes (meta- through telophase) were denser and appeared to contain more aggregated material then networks of prophase cells. The appearance of networks in spermatocytes resembled actin-containing networks of sheared and detergent-extracted human erythrocytes. Networks treated with myosin subfragment 1 under conditions in which muscle F-actin was clearly decorated were not distinguishable from those of untreated cells. Exposure to deoxyribonuclease-1 caused the disruption of networks in sheared spermatocytes as well as in erythrocytes. The results of deoxyribonuclease experiments are interpreted as an indication that actin is a component of the cell cortex in crane-fly spermatocytes.

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