We measured the intracellular electrical potential in oocyte and nurse cells of Drosophila follicles at different developmental stages (6–14) and determined the intrafollicular potential difference. During stages 8–10B, when intrafollicular transport is known to occur, no significant potential difference was found. During late vitellogenic stages the nurse cells assume a more positive potential than the oocyte. This result contrasts with the published data on Hyalophora follicles, in which intercellular electrophoresis of negatively charged proteins occurs from nurse cells to oocyte as a result of an intrafollicular potential difference (nurse cells more negative than the oocyte). Such a potential difference was not observed in Drosophila follicles at any stage, not even after application of juvenile hormone. The extrafollicular electrical field is described with a dipole model. The hypothetical dipole is located in the long axis of the follicle and changes its calculated length stage-specifically.

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