Intermediate filaments in the cytoskeletons of fish chromatophores.

D. B. Murphy, W. A. Grasser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


When fish pigment cells (melanophores, erythrophores) are lysed by a modified Kleinschmidt method on a buffer-air interface and examined by electron microscopy, large numbers of intermediate filaments are observed. The intermediate filament networks are distinct from actin and tubulin, and entrap the pigment as determined by stereo viewing of freeze-dried rotary-shadowed specimens. During lysis, under conditions that do not preserve actin filaments or microtubules, the area covered by dispersed pigment granules reaches a maximum size and remains stable for many minutes, suggesting that intermediate filaments are responsible for holding the pigment in position and preventing further cytoplasmic dispersion. These observations demonstrate that fish pigment cells contain large numbers of intermediate filaments and suggest that they may be important for coordinating pigment granule movement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-366
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Cell Science
StatePublished - Mar 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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