Localization of microtubules during macronuclear division in Tetrahymena and possible involvement of macronuclear microtubules in 'amitotic' chromatin distribution

Cell Struct Funct. 1999 Oct;24(5):401-4. doi: 10.1247/csf.24.401.


The ciliated protozoa Tetrahymena contains two nuclei, a micronucleus and a macronucleus. In the vegetatively growing cell, the macronucleus divides amitotic while the micronucleus divides by mitosis. It has been indicated that microtubules are involved in macronuclear division and microtubules are observed to exist in the dividing macronucleus. To clarify the localization and the organization of microtubules in the amitotic dividing macronuclei, we used immunofluorescent staining technique. The microtubules were observed in the cytoplasm and macronucleus. The microtubules were organized and dynamically changed their distribution throughout the macronuclear division. We suggest a possibility that these microtubules are involved in 'amitotic' distribution of chromatin throughout the macronuclear division.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benomyl / pharmacology
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Chromatin / metabolism*
  • Colchicine / pharmacology
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • DNA, Protozoan / metabolism
  • Interphase / physiology
  • Micronucleus, Germline / metabolism
  • Microtubules / drug effects
  • Microtubules / metabolism
  • Microtubules / physiology*
  • Mitosis / physiology
  • Models, Biological
  • Nocodazole / pharmacology
  • Paclitaxel / pharmacology
  • Tetrahymena / physiology*


  • Chromatin
  • DNA, Protozoan
  • Paclitaxel
  • Nocodazole
  • Colchicine
  • Benomyl