Avian monocyte-derived giant cells in vitro, which are in many respects similar to osteoclasts, display a complex microtubule array that plays a prominent role in cell spreading. It is organized by a polygonal row of regularly spaced centrosomes surrounding an irregular cluster of nuclei. The immediate progenitor cells are binucleate cells with a single microtubule-organising center (MTOC), the result of the congregation of the two individual centrosomes. The one-to-one correspondence between numbers of centrosomes and nuclei in giant cells suggests that the centrosome of each precursor cell has been conserved through the fusion process. This is in marked contrast to the absence of centrosomes in myotubes, another example of a differentiated cell derived from the fusion of progenitor cells.
- © 1989 by Company of Biologists