Mouse erythroleukemia cell nuclei obtained by three different methods were spread for electron microscopy under low ionic conditions. It was found that this procedure allows the observation of free large ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes released from the nuclei during the centrifugation. The morphology of these complexes was readily affected by the conditions of cell treatment and spreading. Two extreme forms of free nuclear RNP structures were obtained, both consisting of spherical particles with diameters of approximately 17-20 nm. The first type was of loosened complexes of irregularly assembled particles interconnected with RNA fibrils. The second represented tightly packed particles forming mostly branched structures. The latter structures appeared to be closer to the native form of the nuclear RNP particles, differing from polyribosomes by their characteristic branching and stability in EDTA solutions.

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