The initial aggregation of trypsin-dissociated cells from the skeletal muscle tissue of 9-day-old chick embryos in the presence of cytochalasins A and B was studied in order to discover the effects of these agents on contact and adhesion.
Cytochalasin B (3 µg/ml) had a negligible effect on the rate of aggregation of cells over an 8-h period, but cytochalasin A at concentrations between 3 and 20 µg/ml markedly inhibited aggregation. Both agents altered the shape and size of aggregates and caused cells at their periphery to appear more spherical.
The oxygen uptake of the treated cells was not noticeably different from that of the controls, despite the severe inhibition of isotopic carbon dioxide evolution. The effect of cytochalasin B on cell aggregation was reversible and although the cytochalasin A effect could not be abolished on return to medium free of A, the unaltered oxygen consumption was taken as an indication that permanent cellular injury did not occur.
The effect of the cytochalasins on aggregate structure was interpreted on the basis of arrested cellular motility, but the singular inhibition by cytochalasin A of the rate of aggregation must await final confirmation of its site of action.