Membrane renewal after dibucaine deciliation of Tetrahymena. Freeze-fracture technique, cilia, membrane structure

Birgit Satir, W. S. Sale, P. Satir

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Axenic late log phase cultures of Tetrahymena pyriformis DN-B3 are deciliated by treatment with dibucaine. Deciliation occurs first at the anterior end of the cell and then progresses posteriorly. Concomitantly, all mature mucocysts are induced to discharge by the drug. The exact point of scission of each cilium is found to be a very localized region, between two specialized membrane arrays: the ciliary necklace and the ciliary patches, situated at the base of the cilium. Isolated cilia retain the patches, while the necklaces remain with the deciliated bodies. The cell membrane seals over the stubs. The new ciliary membrane then grows out above the necklace without the patches, which do not generally appear for several hours. Membrane renewal is therefore asynchronous, with bulk growth preceding the formation of specialized intramembrane particle arrays. During regrowth, the cilia also first return at the anterior end of the cell. This suggests that underlying gradients, perhaps related to Ca2+, are significant in the deciliation process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-91
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1976


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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