ISSN 1214-0287 (on-line), ISSN 1214-021X (printed)
J Appl Biomed
Volume 10 (2012), No 2, p 103-108
DOI 10.2478/v10136-0012-0007-x

The DNA chromatin condensation expressed by the image optical density of chromosomes and heterochromatin in proliferating single human leukemic granulocytic progenitors

Karel Smetana, Hana Klamova, Ilona Jiraskova, Dana Mikulenkova, Michal Zapotocky, Zbynek Hrkal

Address: Karel Smetana, Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, U nemocnice 1, 128 20 Prague 2, Czech Republic

Received 19th September 2011.
Revised 24th October 2011.
Published online 25th October 2011.

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The appearance of heterochromatin is generally accepted as a useful tool for the evaluation of the cell state including pathology; however, information on the heterochromatin DNA condensation state expressed by the image optical density in interphase nuclear regions and mitotic chromosomes with silent genes is very limited. Since human proliferating myeloblasts are a very convenient model, they were studied in the bone marrow of leukemic patients and established cell cultures using computer assisted image densitometry at the single cell level after heterochromatin visualization by a simple but sensitive cytochemical procedure for demonstration of DNA. As was expected, a high DNA image optical density was noted in central heterochromatin regions in contrast to the nuclear periphery at the nuclear envelope. Similarly, a high nuclear DNA image optical density was also expressed in mitotic chromosomes. Thus the possibility exists that the large heterochromatin DNA condensation expressed by the large image optical density in central nuclear regions, as in mitotic chromosomes, is related to silent gene locations. The similar width of mitotic chromosomes and chromatin fibrils in the heterochromatin regions in the interphase nuclei supports that explanation. The chromatin DNA fibrils in the central heterochromatin nuclear regions of interphase cells might just represent masked silent chromosomal segments. Such a conclusion is in harmony with “classical” cytology in the first part of the last century, which suggests the chromosome continuity from the mitotic division to the interphase where each chromatin region (“Kernbezirk”) actually represents a chromosomal territory.

heterochromatin image optical density; chromosomes; central nuclear regions; proliferating cells-human leukemic myeloblasts

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