1. The effects of morganic ions, electrolyte concentration, and pH on the appearance and volume of the isolated rat liver nucleus have been studied. Nuclei were isolated by differential centrifugation in a buffered salt-sucrose mixture at pH 7.1. Nuclear volumes were determined photographically. 2. In solutions of NaCl, of KCl, and in potassium phosphate buffers the nuclear volume decreased markedly with an increase in concentration from 0.001 M to 0.05 M but remained essentially constant with further increase in concentration to 1.0 M. The effects of CaCl(2) and MgCl(2) differed from those of NaCl and KCl in that a smaller volume was obtained in concentrations less than 0.15 M, and in the case of CaCl(2) an increase in volume was obtained in more concentrated solutions. The volume changes are considered to be due primarily to ionic effects on the nuclear colloids rather than to osmotic behavior. 3. Treatment of nuclei with DNAase prevented the characteristic volume changes resulting from ion effects, suggesting the importance of DNA in nuclear volume changes. 4. The optical changes in isolated nuclei in various concentrations of KCl, NaCl, CaCl(2), MgCl(2), and in potassium phosphate buffers as observed under phase contrast illumination are described. CaCl(2) gave the most marked nuclear changes from the conditions in the uninjured cell and caused shrinkage and granulation in 0.001 M concentration. The effects of CaCl(2) were also manifested in 0.88 M sucrose, in mixtures with monovalent salts, and in serum. Changes in nuclear volume and optical appearance which occurred in salt solutions and in 0.1 N HCl were readily reversible. 5. Nuclear volume remained constant between pH 8.91 and 5.12 and decreased in more acid solutions. 6. Sucrose had no appreciable osmotic effect, and in hyperosmotic solution. (0.88 M) nuclei showed swelling and rupture comparable to that in distilled water. 7. The results are considered in relation to the requirements of nuclear isolation media. 8. Rat liver nuclei isolated in a buffered salt-sucrose medium by differential centrifugation exhibited a pattern of size distribution similar to that of fixed nuclei but were of considerably larger volume. The ratio of the volumes of the peak frequencies of the two chief size groups was 1:1.9.
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