Cytocortical organization during natural and prolonged mitosis of mouse 8-cell blastomeres
Late 8-cell blastomeres were harvested within the first 45 min after entering mitosis. Some mitotic cells were analysed within the ensuing 2 h for the organization of their surface in relation to their progress through mitosis. Whereas in most late interphase cells microvilli were restricted to a discrete polar region, in mitotic cells at all stages from early metaphase to immediately postcytokinesis microvilli were found to be present over more of the cell surface. Other mitotic cells were
... otic cells were placed in nocodazole to arrest them in M-phase for up to 10 h. They were found to show an even more extensive distribution of microvilli over the whole surface, the longer periods of incubation yielding more extended coverage such that many cells no longer appeared to have any residual surface polarity. Removal from nocodazole at all time points from 1 to 10 h resulted in most cells completing mitosis to yield pairs of cells which, in most cases, resembled pairs derived from nonarrested blastomeres and in which a defined polar area of microvilli was restored. However, the percentage of differentiative divisions decreased after 6 h arrest. If, instead of removing cells from nocodazole, they were placed in both nocodazole and cytochalasin D (CCD) for periods of up to 3 h, most microvilli retracted to reveal a tight polar zone of CCD-resistant microvilli. This result suggests that a heterogeneity of cytocortical organization may still exist within the arrested mitotic cell. We propose a model to explain the origin of this heterogeneity of organization and its relationship to the generation of cell diversity.