Light and electron microscopy of Rat kangaroo cells in mitosis

Research paper by Urs-Peter Roos

Indexed on: 01 Mar '73Published on: 01 Mar '73Published in: Chromosoma


Rat kangaroo (PtK2) cells were fixed and embedded in situ. Cells in mitosis were studied with the light microscope and thin sections examined with the electron microscope. Pericentriolar, osmiophilic material, rather than the centrioles, is probably involved in the formation of astral microtubules during prophase. Centriole migration occurs during prophase and early prometaphase. The nuclear envelope ruptures first in the vicinity of the asters. Nuclear pore complexes disintegrate as envelope fragments are dispersed to the periphery of the mitotic spindle. Microtubules invade the nucleus through gaps of the fragmented envelope. The number of microtubules and the degree of spindle organization increase during prometaphase and are maximal at metaphase. At this stage, chromosomes are aligned on the spindle equator, sister kinetochores facing opposite poles. Cytoplasmic organelles are excluded from the spindle. Prominent bundles of kinetochore microtubules converge towards the poles. Spindles in cold-treated cells consist almost exclusively of kinetochore tubules. Separating daughter chromosomes in early anaphase are connected by chromatin strands, possibly reflecting the rupturing of fibrous connections occasionally observed between sister chromatids in prometaphase. Breakdown of the spindle progresses from late anaphase to telophase, except for the stem bodies. Chromosomes decondense to form two masses. Nuclear envelope reconstruction, probably involving endoplasmic reticulum, begins on the lateral faces. Nuclear pores reappear on membrane segments in contact with chromatin. Microtubules are absent from reconstructed daughter nuclei.