Purification and characterization of rat hippocampal CA3-dendritic spines associated with mossy fiber terminals.
We report a revised and improved isolation procedure for CA3-dendritic spines, most of them still in association with mossy fiber terminals resulting in a 7.5-fold enrichment over nuclei and a 29-fold enrichment over myelin. Additionally, red blood cells, medullated fibers, mitochondria and small synaptosomes were significantly depleted. We show by high resolution electron microscopy that this subcellular fraction contains numerous dendritic spines with a rich ultrastructure, e.g. an intact spine apparatus, membranous organelles, free and membrane-bound polyribosomes, endocytic structures and mitochondria. This improved experimental system will allow us to study aspects of post-synaptic functions at the biochemical and molecular level. (+info)
A quantitative study of pinocytosis and lysosome function in experimentally induced lysosomal storage.
The highly pinocytic epithelial cells of the visceral yolk sac from 17.5-day rat conceptuses were used as a model in which to induce engorgement of the vacuolar system by direct accumulation of substances that are not hydrolysed by lysosomal enzymes. The ultra-structural appearances of these cells in pregnant animals that 24-48h before had received intraperitoneal injections of Triton WR-1339, polyvinylpyrrolidone, dextran or sucrose revealed gross abnormalities that were confined to the vacuolar system; in comparison with normal tissue the number, and in some cases the size, of vacuoles was increased, leading to close packing within the apical cytoplasm and distortion of the normal rounded shape. By culturing yolk sacs in vitro, rates of ingestion of 125I-labelled polyvinylpyrrolidone and of 125I-labelled bovine serum albumin were determined, together with the rate of digestion of the labelled protein. The rates of exocytosis of 125I-labelled polyvinylpyrrolidone and of lysosomal enzymes were also determined. No significant differences between normal and highly vacuolated tissues were found. Apparently marked vacuolation of these cells by these agents is without significant effect on pinocytosis, exocytosis or intralysosomal proteolysis. (+info)
Immature germ cell separation using a modified discontinuous Percoll gradient technique in human semen.
The difficulty of identifying immature germ cells in unstained, fresh semen has led most laboratories to use the broad definition 'round cells' to indicate cells other than spermatozoa, thus grouping together both leukocytes and immature germ cells. This is also the case in research andrology, where very little attention has been given to immature germ cells in the semen apart from some rare exceptions, such as the attempts to study meiosis. Here we report on the use of a discontinuous Percoll gradient method modified to enable the best separation possible of immature germ cells from the other cells found in the ejaculate, in order to obtain a cellular suspension free of spermatozoa. Our technique (intra-assay variation in duplicates < 10%) demonstrated a high immature germ cell concentration in gradient fractions with 30% to 45% Percoll with a small contamination (1.5-6%) of leukocytes, confirmed by May-Grunwald-Giemsa staining, immunofluorescence and cytofluorimetry. The concentrations of immature germ cells ranged from zero in obstructive azoospermia to 2.0 x 10(6)/ml in oligozoospermia and genital tract infection. The purified immature germ cell suspensions obtained can be useful for diagnostic and research purposes. (+info)
Comparative evaluation of two density gradient preparations for sperm separation for medically assisted conception.
To evaluate and optimize the sperm separation efficiency of a novel silane-coated silica bead (Puresperm), serial studies were carried out to compare the various sperm parameters between: (i) three-layer (90%-70%-40%) Puresperm and three-layer (90%-70%-40%) conventional polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)-coated silica bead (Percoll) gradients; (ii) three-layer (90%-70%-40%) and two-layer (90%-45%) Puresperm gradients and separately the same for Percoll; and (iii) large (3.0 ml) and small (0.75 ml) semen loading volumes on three-layer Puresperm gradients. Normozoospermic semen samples were treated and analysed in 12 replicates for each experiment. Manual evaluation of concentration, percentage motility, percentage vitality, percentage normal morphology; computer-assisted semen analysis evaluation of concentration, percentage motility, grade of motility, motion characteristics (curvilinear velocity, linearity, amplitude of lateral head velocity, beat cross frequency, percentage hyperactivation); and yields from the initial semen samples were compared. Percoll was found to be superior to Puresperm in concentration, percentage motility, percentage vitality and yields after three-layer density gradient centrifugation. There were no significant differences in sperm parameters between two- and three-layer Percoll gradients, but three-layer Puresperm gradients behaved significantly better than two-layer gradients. Large semen volume loads on three-layer Puresperm gradients resulted in greater sperm concentrations, percentage motility, percentage vitality and percentage normal morphology, but small semen volume loads produced greater yields of good-quality spermatozoa. In the light of Percoll being withdrawn from the shelf for the use of assisted reproduction because of the presence of PVP, three-layer Puresperm gradients with large semen loading volumes appear to be an attractive alternative for sperm separation in medically assisted conception. (+info)
Demonstration of thymus-independent immune system in Xenopus laevis. Response to polyvinylpyrrolidone.
Larvae of Xenopus laevis were thymectomized at stage 45 (4 days old), and raised beyond metamorphosis. Thymectomized toads, when injected with polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), produced the same titres of antibodies as non-thymectomized animals, providing strong evidence that the thymus-independent immune response is present in this anuran. Antibodies were of exclusively high molecular weight, heat-stable, and 2-mercaptoethanol sensitive. After immunization, lymphoid accumulations were evident in the splenic white pulp of both thymectomized and non-thymectomized toads, but in the red pulp the accumulations were prominent only in non-thymectomized toads. (+info)
Pre-freezing sperm preparation does not impair thawed spermatozoa binding to the zona pellucida.
The present study was conducted to assess the fertilizing potential of frozen-thawed spermatozoa, which were cryopreserved after separation on a Percoll gradient, or washed out of seminal plasma. For this purpose, binding to the zona pellucida and other characteristics of the treated sperm cells were compared with those of cryopreserved spermatozoa from the same original sample which were not manipulated before freezing. Semen specimens were obtained from 80 candidates for sperm donation. Percoll-treated sperm samples compared with the sibling, unprocessed controls had significantly higher values of sperm motility characteristics and per cent of cells with normal morphology after freezing and thawing. Sperm binding ability to the zona pellucida was not statistically different (109 +/- 8.1% and 94 +/- 6.7% in unprocessed and Percoll-treated samples respectively). Sperm specimens processed by washing had significantly higher values for motility characteristics than untreated sibling samples, but no differences were found between the treated and untreated samples for morphology and binding to the zona pellucida (hemizona index of 75 +/- 7.0% and 76 +/- 6.7% in unprocessed and washed samples respectively). These findings suggest that, judged by the binding assay, the aforementioned pre-freezing separation processes have no adverse effect upon the fertilizing potential of the thawed sperm cells. These procedures make it possible to optimize the progressive motile sperm cell concentration of the frozen specimen, which facilitates the storage of samples with good quality, even when the features of the original semen are sub-optimal. (+info)
Effects of Percoll separation, cryoprotective agents, and temperature on plasma membrane permeability characteristics of murine spermatozoa and their relevance to cryopreservation.
Cryopreservation of murine spermatozoa would provide an efficient method for preserving important genotypes. However, to date such methods have resulted in low survivals with significant variability. To address this issue, a series of five experiments was performed to determine the cryobiological characteristics of murine spermatozoa. Experiments 1 and 2 investigated the effect of Percoll separation on the hydraulic conductivity (L(p)) of murine spermatozoa. Both Percoll separation and cryoprotective agents (CPAs) decreased the L(p). However, these effects were not additive. Experiment 3 was performed to determine the effect of temperature on L(p) in the presence of cryoprotectants (L(p)(CPA)), cryoprotectant permeability (P(CPA)), and the reflection coefficient (sigma) in spermatozoa from both ICR and B6C3F1 mice. Permeability parameters decreased as temperature decreased, and permeability characteristics differed between strains. In experiments 4 and 5, theoretical simulations for CPA addition and removal were developed and empirically tested. Strain-specific methods for CPA addition and removal based upon the fundamental cryobiological characteristics of murine spermatozoa resulted in higher survivals than current methods or procedures, which were used as controls. (+info)
Molecular diagnostics on microfabricated electrophoretic devices: from slab gel- to capillary- to microchip-based assays for T- and B-cell lymphoproliferative disorders.
BACKGROUND: Current methods for molecular-based diagnosis of disease rely heavily on modern molecular biology techniques for interrogating the genome for aberrant DNA sequences. These techniques typically include amplification of the target DNA sequences followed by separation of the amplified fragments by slab gel electrophoresis. As a result of the labor-intensive, time-consuming nature of slab gel electrophoresis, alternative electrophoretic formats have been developed in the form of capillary electrophoresis and, more recently, multichannel microchip electrophoresis. METHODS: Capillary electrophoresis was explored as an alternative to slab gel electrophoresis for the analysis of PCR-amplified products indicative of T- and B-cell malignancies as a means of defining the elements for silica microchip-based diagnosis. Capillary-based separations were replicated on electrophoretic microchips. RESULTS: The microchip-based electrophoretic separation effectively resolved PCR-amplified fragments from the variable region of the T-cell receptor-gamma gene (150-250 bp range) and the immunoglobulin heavy chain gene (80-140 bp range), yielding diagnostically relevant information regarding the presence of clonal DNA populations. Although hydroxyethylcellulose provided adequate separation power, the need for a coated microchannel for effective resolution necessitated additional preparative steps. In addition, preliminary data are shown indicating that polyvinylpyrrolidone may provide an adequate matrix without the need for microchannel coating. CONCLUSIONS: Separation of B- and T-cell gene rearrangement PCR products on microchips provides diagnostic information in dramatically reduced time (160 s vs 2.5 h) with no loss of diagnostic capacity when compared with current methodologies. As illustrated, this technology and methodology holds great potential for extrapolation to the abundance of similar molecular biology-based techniques. (+info)