A combined ultrastructural approach to the study of nuclear matrix thermal stabilization

E. Falcieri, P. Gobbi, P. Sabatelli, S. Santi, F. Farabegoli, R. Rana, A. Cataldi, N. M. Maraldi, A. M. Martelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using mouse erythroleukaemia cells and different ultrastructural techniques, the morphology was investigated of the nuclear matrix obtained after incubation at 37° C of isolated nuclei. If purified nuclei were heated for 45 min at 37° C, the final matrix exhibited well-recognizable nucleolar remnants, an inner network and a peripheral lamina. Without such incubation only the peripheral lamina was seen surrounding homogeneous, finely granular material. Similar results were obtained with both araldite-embedded and freeze-fractured nuclear matrices, although in the latter case the loose granular material was not evident. Observations of araldite-embedded, heat-treated nuclei revealed clumping of heterochromatin in small, very electron-dense masses with large interchromatin spaces. These ultrastructural aspects were even more striking in freeze-fractured nuclei. Cytochemical matrix analysis by osmium-ammine staining for nucleic acids and DNase-gold labelling for DNA localization demonstrated that also matrix residual nucleic acids, mostly RNA, are stabilized by heat exposure of isolated nuclei. The results demonstrate that the morphology of heat-stabilized nuclear matrix is not artefactually affected during the preparation for conventional electron microscopy and suggest a possible involvement of nucleic acids in the heat-induced stabilization of the nuclear matrix.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-129
Number of pages9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy


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