, Volume 210, Issue 3, pp 371-382

Hormone-induced filopodium formation and movement of pigment, carotenoid droplets, into newly formed filopodia

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Treatment of cultured goldfish xanthophores by hormone (ACTH) or c-AMP induces not only pigment dispersion, but subsequent outgrowth of processes, and pigment translocation into these processes. These latter effects are shown to proceed as follows: First the edge of the cytoplasmic lamellae takes on a scalloped contour with numerous protrusions. These presumably serve as nucleation centers where short microfilament bundles are assembled, Later, the microfilament bundles elongate (“grow”), often resulting in an extension of the protrusions to become filopodia while the proximal end of the microfilaments penetrates into the thicker portion of the cellular process which now houses the pigment, i.e., the carotenoid droplets. Carotenoid droplets appear to migrate along the microfilament bundles, or cytoplasmic channels associated with them, into the filopodia. Finally, some of the filopodia become broader, thicker and laden with carotenoid droplets and are then recognized by light microscopy as pigmented cellular processes. The microfilaments have been shown to be actin filaments by their thickness, the size of their subunits, and decoration by heavy meromyosin. Evidence is presented which suggests that the growth of these actin filaments may come about by recruitment from short F-actin strands found in random orientation in adjacent areas.