PMID: 5914687Feb 1, 1966

Microtubules in the microspikes and cortical cytoplasm of isolated cells

The Journal of Cell Biology
A C Taylor


In thin sections through microspikes extending from the surface of isolated cells, a core has been seen which may contain microtubular elements. The differences between these and microtubules seen elsewhere in the cytoplasm are attributed to their rapid growth and exposed location which make them especially vulnerable to injury by preparative treatment. In support of this view it is shown that cytoplasmic microtubules may be altered or even destroyed by exposing the cells to changes in osmotic pressure. Associated with these straight microtubules in the cytoplasm were also found solid microfilaments. The form of these components and their location and alignment in portions of cells which are under tension or in motion suggest that they function in the structural support of the cell and its microspikes and in the transmission of tension in the cytoplasm. A second type of microtubule, smaller in diameter and tortuous in form, was also seen in certain cells and is presumed, from its shape, to have little to do with cytoplasmic support.


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