A scanning electron-microscope study has established that there are major modifications in the surface membranes of malignant cells transformed from the pronephric kidney of the frog. Tumours were induced in vivo after exposure of embryos Lucke Herpes virus. A pronephric cell line from normal embryos and 3 tumour cell lines derived from experimentally induced adenocarcinomas of the pronephros were observed. The normal embryonic kidney cells have their surfaces covered with long fingerlike microvilli throughout the cell cycle. In contrast, the surface of the pronephric tumour cells are mainly covered by multiple, ruffled or parallel straight microridges and short, stubby microvilli. These comparisons were made on cells subject to similar culture conditions. The topographic changes in the tumour cells are considered significant since the characteristic microridges and stubby villi were consistently found in all 3 pronephric tumour lines.

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