Young rats given an intravenous injection of [3H]proline were killed at successive times from 4 to 80 min later. Fibroblasts from the front foot pad were radioautographed ; silver grains were counted over several of the organelles and the results were expressed as percent radiolabel per unit volume. These percentages reached a peak over rough endoplasmic reticulum cisternae at 4 min, intermediate vesicles and tubules at 10 min, spherical distensions of cis-side Golgi saccules at 20 min, cylindrical distensions of trans-side saccules between 40 and 60 min, and secretory granules at 60 min. It is proposed that the succession of peaks corresponds to the migration pathway of collagen precursor proteins within fibroblasts; that is, the proteins synthesized in rough endoplasmic reticulum are delivered by intermediate vesicles and/or tubules to the spherical distensions of cis-side saccules, somehow pass from there to the cylindrical distensions of trans-side saccules and, finally, are carried by secretory granules to the extracellular space.

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