In this work we have used the inhibitor of F-actin polymerisation cytochalasin B (Cyt B) to test the hypothesis that the contractile ring and the central spindle are mutually interdependent structures in mammalian mitotic cells. Double fluorescence staining of alpha-tubulin and F-actin was employed to analyse anaphase and telophase figures from asynchronously growing cultures and prometaphase-synchronised cells. Testing for the presence of the central spindle and contractile ring in human primary fibroblasts, human hepatoma cells and Chinese hamster cells after Cyt B treatment showed that both structures were simultaneously absent in over 60% of treated anaphases and 80% of telophases. Experiments on resumption of cytokinesis in cleavage-arrested cells further showed that Cyt B-treated human fibroblasts proceeded to cleavage within minutes after removal of the drug from the medium, concomitant with the re-formation of both cellular structures in cleaving cells. These data suggest that the presence of a correctly assembled contractile ring is essential for the formation and persistence of the central spindle during ana-telophase and provide further support for the idea of a strong co-operative interaction between these two structures during cytokinesis.