Send to

Choose Destination
Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 1997;38(3):229-49.

Bidirectional pigment granule migration in isolated retinal pigment epithelial cells requires actin but not microtubules.

Author information

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley 94720-3200, USA.


In the teleost retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), melanin pigment granules disperse into long apical projections in the light and reaggregate into the cell body in the dark. To investigate the cytoskeletal mechanisms responsible for these movements, we have examined the effects of cytoskeletal inhibitors on pigment granule transport in cultured, dissociated RPE cells using time-lapse video microscopy. The kinetics of pigment granule transport during normal aggregation and dispersion are quite distinct: during aggregation, all pigment granules undergo simultaneous, nonsaltatory centripetal movement (mean velocity 3.6 microm/min); during dispersion, individual granules undergo independent, bidirectional saltatations (mean velocities 3.7 microm/min centrifugal; 1.1 microm/min centripetal). Nocodazole disruption of microtubules within the RPE apical projections had little effect on the kinetics of pigment granule movement, and essentially no effect on extent of pigment granule aggregation or dispersion, or on maintenance of the fully aggregated or fully dispersed states. In contrast, cytochalasin D (CD) treatment blocked net aggregation and dispersion of pigment granules, and compromised maintenance of the fully aggregated and dispersed states. These observations suggest that the actin cytoskeleton plays an important role in both centripetal and centrifugal transport of pigment granules in teleost RPE cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center