Henry Gray (18251861). Anatomy of the Human Body. 1918.
or basichromatin and owe their staining properties to the presence of nucleic acid. Within the nuclear matrix are one or more highly refracting bodies, termed nucleoli, connected with the nuclear membrane by the nuclear filaments. They are regarded as being of two kinds. Some are mere local condensations (net-knots) of the chromatin; these are irregular in shape and are termed pseudo-nucleoli; others are distinct bodies differing from the pseudo-nucleoli both in nature and chemical composition; they may be termed true nucleoli, and are usually found in resting cells. The true nucleoli are oxyphil, i.e., they stain with acid dyes.
Most living cells contain, in addition to their protoplasm and nucleus, a small particle which usually lies near the nucleus and is termed the centrosome. In the middle of the centrosome is a minute body called the centriole, and surrounding this is a clear spherical mass known as the centrosphere. The protoplasm surrounding the centrosphere is frequently arranged in radiating fibrillar rows of granules, forming what is termed the attraction sphere.
Reproduction of Cells.Reproduction of cells is effected either by direct or by indirect division. In reproduction by direct division the nucleus becomes constricted in its center, assuming an hour-glass shape, and then divides into two. This is followed by a cleavage or division of the whole protoplasmic mass of the cell; and thus two daughter cells are formed, each containing a nucleus. These daughter cells are at first smaller than the original mother cell; but they grow, and the process may be repeated in them, so that multiplication may take place rapidly. Indirect division or karyokinesis (karyomitosis) has been observed in all the tissuesgenerative cells, epithelial tissue, connective tissue, muscular tissue, and nerve tissue. It is possible that cell division may always take place by the indirect method.
The process of indirect cell division is characterized by a series of complex changes in the nucleus, leading to its subdivision; this is followed by cleavage of the cell protoplasm. Starting with the nucleus in the quiescent or resting stage, these changes may be briefly grouped under the four following phases (Fig. 2).
1. Prophase.The nuclear network of chromatin filaments assumes the form of a twisted skein or spirem, while the nuclear membrane and nucleolus disappear. The convoluted skein of chromatin divides into a definite number of V-shaped segments or chromosomes. The number of chromosomes varies in different animals, but is constant for all the cells in an animal of any given species; in man the number is given by Flemming and Duesberg as twenty-four.1 Coincidently with or preceding these changes the centriole, which usually lies by the side of the nucleus, undergoes subdivision, and the two resulting centrioles, each surrounded by a centrosphere, are seen to be connected by a spindle of delicate achromatic fibers the achromatic spindle. The centrioles move away from each otherone toward either extremity of the nucleusand the fibrils of the achromatic spindle are correspondingly lengthened. A line encircling the spindle midway between its extremities or poles is named the equator, and around this the V-shaped chromosomes arrange themselves in the form of a star, thus constituting the mother star or monaster.
2. Metaphase.Each V-shaped chromosome now undergoes longitudinal cleavage into two equal parts or daughter chromosomes, the cleavage commencing at the apex of the V and extending along its divergent limbs.
3. Anaphase.The daughter chromosomes, thus separated, travel in opposite directions along the fibrils of the achromatic spindle toward the centrioles, around which they group themselves, and thus two star-like figures are formed, one at either pole of the achromatic spindle. This constitutes the diaster. The daughter chromosomes now arrange themselves into a skein or spirem, and eventually form the network of chromatin which is characteristic of the resting nucleus.
Note 1. Dr. J. Duesberg, Anat. Anz., Band xxviii, S. 475. [back]