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Biol Cell. 1989;67(1):67-79.

In vitro effects of colchicine and nocodazole on ciliogenesis in quail oviduct.

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Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France.


Oviduct implants from quails which were primarily stimulated in vivo by estrogen so as to induce ciliogenesis in some epithelial cells were cultured in vitro in the presence or absence of colchicine or nocodazole. After 24 or 48 hr of culture, implants were examined by transmission and scanning electron microscopy to determine drug-induced alterations in ciliogenesis. After 24 hr of 10(-5) M colchicine treatment, the formation of basal bodies was totally inhibited, though the precursor material of generative complexes was unchanged. The inhibitory effect was not reversed when colchicine was removed in a 24 hr recovery culture. Treatment with 10(-6) M nocodazole for 24 hr, partially inhibited the assembly of basal bodies, which exhibited altered morphology. The assembly of basal bodies was restored during the 24 hr recovery period, after removal of nocodazole. Colchicine and nocodazole did not prevent polarized migration towards the apical surface of basal bodies formed prior to drug treatment. They anchored to the plasma membrane, but the formation of cilia was strongly disturbed in the presence of the drug. Numerous cells possessed anchored basal bodies which failed to induce the formation of cilia. The elongation of cilia was inhibited, as seen by their abnormal capping structure. In the enlarged tip, microtubules diverged. In contrast, these very short cilia possessed a mature ciliary necklace which was constructed during drug treatment. Differentiation of this membrane ciliary structure appeared to be unrelated to axoneme growth.

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