Freeze-fracture studies of the developing cell surface. II. Particle-free membrane blisters on glutaraldehyde-fixed corneal fibroblasts are artefacts.
We describe, in sections and by freeze-fracture, four classes of intramembrane particle (IMP)-free membrane blebs or "blisters" associated with glutaraldehyde-fixed embryonic corneal fibroblasts: (a) Single blisters attached to the cell membrane; (b) free (detached) vesicles; (c) myelin figures; (d) multivesicular protrusions which resemble the "mounds" described by others on nerve growth cones. The IMP-free, membrane-bounded blisters contain no ground cytoplasm or organelles, in contrast to blebs on trypsin-isolated fibroblasts, which we show here do contain cytoplasm and IMP-rich membranes. That the IMP-free membrane blisters in embryonic corneas are artefacts of fixation is demonstrated by (a) their absence in replicas of fibroblasts frozen and fractured without prior aldehyde fixation and (b) their absence in sections of fibroblasts fixed in a combination of glutaraldehyde and osmium tetroxide. We suggest that the addition of osmium prevents postfixation movement of membrane lipids, especially the negatively charged "fluid" lipids which others have shown are capable of considerable mobility after aldehyde fixation alone. Recent literature has implicated membrane blistering in secretory processes and in growth of nerves, but before the functional significance of such IMP-free blisters is assessed, membrane mobility of the type shown here should be taken into consideration. (+info)
Nucleoid-independent identification of cell division sites in Escherichia coli.
The mechanism used by Escherichia coli to determine the correct site for cell division is unknown. In this report, we have attempted to distinguish between a model in which septal position is determined by the position of the nucleoids and a model in which septal position is predetermined by a mechanism that does not involve nucleoid position. To do this, filaments with extended nucleoid-free regions adjacent to the cell poles were produced by simultaneous inactivation of cell division and DNA replication. The positions of septa that formed within the nucleoid-free zones after division was allowed to resume were then analyzed. The results showed that septa were formed at a uniform distance from cell poles when division was restored, with no relation to the distance from the nearest nucleoid. In some cells, septa were formed directly over nucleoids. These results are inconsistent with models that invoke nucleoid positioning as the mechanism for determining the site of division site formation. (+info)
A new rapid technique for the fixation of thyroid gland surgical specimens.
One of the main diagnostic problems in thyroid pathology is to distinguish between follicular adenoma and follicular carcinoma. Thorough sampling of the nodule's capsule is recommended in order to identify capsular invasion. However, during the hardening of the tissue, by the usual fixatives the capsule shrinks and rolls downwards and sometimes the capsule separates from the remaining tissue. The present work evaluates the use of "Lymph Node Revealing Solution" (LNRS) for the rapid fixation (2h) of different thyroid lesions as compared to that of formalin. Fifty-one unselected consecutive cases of thyroid nodules, which included various benign and malignant lesions, were examined. Each specimen was cut in two equal parts; one was fixed in LNRS, the other in formalin. Fixation in LNRS for 2 hours gave adequate results in sectioning and staining of the tissue, and excellent immunostains. Its advantage over formalin is the conservation of the natural relationship between the capsule and the rest of the tissue, on the same plane, as well as the short time required for the final diagnosis. (+info)
Slices have more synapses than perfusion-fixed hippocampus from both young and mature rats.
Hippocampal slices have long been used to investigate properties of synaptic transmission and plasticity. Here, for the first time, synapses in slices have been compared quantitatively with synapses occurring in perfusion-fixed hippocampus, which is presumed to represent the natural in vivo state. Relative to perfusion-fixed hippocampus, a remarkable 40-50% increase in spine number occurs in adult hippocampal slices, and a 90% increase occurs in slices from postnatal day 21 rats. Serial EM shows that all of the dendritic spines have normal synapses with presynaptic and postsynaptic elements; however, not all spine types are affected uniformly. Stubby and mushroom spines increase in the adult slices, and thin, mushroom, and branched spines increase in the immature slices. More axonal boutons with multiple synapses occur in the slices, suggesting that the new synapses form on preexisting axonal boutons. The increase in spine and synapse number is evident within a couple of hours after preparing the slices. Once the initial spine induction has occurred, no further change occurs for up to 13 hr in vitro, the longest time investigated. Thus, the spine increase is occurring during a period when there is little or no synaptic activity during the first hour, and the subsequent stabilization in spine synapse numbers is occurring after synaptic activity returns in the slice. These findings suggest that spines form in response to the loss of synaptic activity when slices are removed from the rest of the brain and during the subsequent 1 hr recovery period. (+info)
Experience with external quality control in spermatology.
Results are presented from participation in an external quality control (EQC) programme for semen analysis (UK NEQAS). Formalin-fixed semen samples and videotapes of motile spermatozoa were distributed four times a year over a 3-4 year period. Over the entire period there was close agreement for sperm concentration with, initially, the average of values from the other groups participating in the scheme, and later, values designated as reference values obtained from six laboratories of several chosen that consistently agreed with each other. The initial underestimation of the percentage of normal forms was abolished at the time of change in derivation of designated values and this largely eliminated the difference to establish closer agreement with the designated values. A consistent bias in the assessment of different categories of progressive sperm motility appeared to be resolved by a conscious decision to consider most spermatozoa as grade b and the exceptions as grade a, rather than the converse. Feedback of results to the technicians of the laboratory participating in an external quality control programme leads to reappraisal of subjective evaluation and to harmonization of results between laboratories. (+info)
Polymerase chain reaction detection of Puumala virus RNA in formaldehyde-fixed biopsy material.
BACKGROUND: Infections with hantaviruses, mainly Clethrionomys-derived Puumala viruses, are known causes of acute renal failure [hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS)] in western Europe. Laboratory diagnosis is primarily based on serology. At the time of clinical symptoms, viral RNA can hardly be detected in the blood or urine, indicating that polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is of little diagnostic value for these infections. Biopsy material is usually formaldehyde-fixed and, thus, regarded as poor quality for PCR applications. The aim of this study was to establish a technique to retrieve such material for laboratory diagnostic. METHODS: Formaldehyde-fixed, paraffin-embedded kidney biopsies of 14 patients with renal failure either clinically suspected for HFRS (7 cases) or caused by unknown (2 cases) or known other causes (drugs, sarcoidosis; 5 cases) were histologically investigated. An established S segment-specific PCR assay was applied to RNA isolated from the biopsies, and amplification products were verified by direct sequence determination. RESULTS: Investigations revealed a typical histopathological appearance for hantavirus infections in all seven suspected HFRS cases and one case of unknown cause. With five of the suspected HFRS cases, hantavirus-specific RNA was detected. Sequence comparison revealed a close relationship to corresponding nucleoproteins of known Puumala viruses. CONCLUSION: The established technique provides a simple and powerful tool that expands the diagnostic possibilities, especially for otherwise unidentified or retrospective cases. It further allows insight into the molecular epidemiology of HFRS-causing agents. (+info)
Detection of translocation t(11;14)(q13;q32) in mantle cell lymphoma by fluorescence in situ hybridization.
To assess an unequivocal diagnosis of mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), we have developed a fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) assay, enabling the demonstration of t(11;14)(q13;q32) directly on pathological samples. We have first selected CCND1 and IGH probes encompassing the breakpoint regions on both chromosomes. Then, we have defined experimental conditions enabling us to obtain bright clear-cut signals in all of the samples, independently of the initial fixation conditions. We have analyzed single-cell suspensions from 26 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded MCL samples with this set of probes. In all cases, we have found a fusion signal (ie, a t(11;14)(q13;q32) translocation) in 14% to 99% of cells (median, 87%). So far, IGH-CCND1 fusions have been detected in all of the 51 MCL patients that we have analyzed by FISH (either on paraffin-embedded tumor samples or on peripheral blood samples). Regarding the low sensitivity of other techniques used to diagnose t(11;14)(q13;q32) (ie, 70% to 75% for cytogenetics and 50% to 60% for polymerase chain reaction), our FISH assay is by far the most sensitive technique. Moreover, because of the quality of the fluorescent signals and the rapidity of the experiment, this technique is widely applicable, even in routine cytogenetics or pathology laboratories. As MCL patients are usually refractory to standard therapy, an unambiguous diagnosis is needed to propose adapted therapeutic strategies, and this highly sensitive assay may be of great value for accurate diagnosis in difficult cases. (+info)
Mechanical properties of mesenteric arteries in diabetic rats: consequences of outward remodeling.
Diabetes induces hemodynamic and biochemical changes that can influence mechanical properties of arteries. Structure and mechanics of mesenteric small arteries were investigated in rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes (duration 7-9 wk). The external diameter of mesenteric artery branches was measured in control (n = 9) and diabetic (n = 7) Wistar Rp rats at baseline and during pressurization in situ (0-150 mmHg) under normal and passive smooth muscle conditions. Mean arterial pressure and mesenteric artery pressure were not significantly different. Baseline mesenteric artery diameter was larger in the diabetes-induced group (439 +/- 12 vs. 388 +/- 18 micrometers, P < 0.05). Media cross-sectional area of arteries from diabetic rats was not significantly increased (0.0149 +/- 0.0015 vs. 0.0122 +/- 0.0007 mm2). Cross-sectional compliance was significantly increased in diabetic rats at intraluminal pressures ranging from 25 to 75 mmHg (P < 0.005), whereas cross-sectional distensibility was not modified. Wall tension and circumferential wall stress were increased in diabetes. These results indicate that mesenteric small arteries of diabetic rats display eutrophic outward remodeling associated with increased wall tension and circumferential wall stress. (+info)