Preparations of centrioles from bovine spleen were incubated in solutions of NaCl, MgCl2, HCl, NaOH, EDTA and heparin. Their effects on the centrioles were studied by electron microscopy of ultrathin sections. It was found that the microtubules of centriolar cylinders gradually disintegrate at a higher than physiological ionic strength and at a pH value lower than 3.5 and higher than 8.5. After microtubule extraction, a closely apposed rim or sheath of dense centriolar matrix remains which has the same dimensions of length and width as the original centriole. Some other centriolar structures, including the pericentriolar satellites and certain structures in the cylinders (hub) are also preserved. The basal bodies of fish spermatozoa revealed similar structures, including the centriolar rim and hub, after microtubule extraction. Thus, the microtubule triplets are not involved in maintaining the structure of the centriolar cylinder; this role is rather carried out by amorphous material--the matrix, surrounding the microtubules.