SPbU researches have conducted a study in the topography of surfaces of nuclear structures. The University biologists have obtained unique surface images of the cell. It became possible due to the scanning electron microscope of the Centre for Nanotechnology at the SPbU Research Park. The results of the study have been published in Scientific Reports, a reputable international journal.

SPbU biologists aimed to investigate ultrastructural topography of surfaces of nuclear structures – chromosomes and nuclear bodies, in particular, nucleoli, histone locus bodies, Cajal bodies, and interchromatin granule clusters.  To study intranuclear structures, the research team focused on amplified nucleoli of avian and amphibian oocytes, which frequently become models in biological studies of the cell nucleus. The large size of these nuclei allows to microsurgically isolate a range of intact nuclear bodies and chromosomes into distinct preparations.

Low-voltage scanning electron microscopy – a modification to the method of scanning electron microscopy – allowed to analyse uncoated, non-osmicated biological samples.

According to Alla Krasikova, SPbU Associate Professor of the Department of Cytology and Histology, the research lies at the intersection of methods used in nuclear physic and cell biology. The analysis allowed to obtain unique high-resolution surface images of nuclear structures.  

‘Apart from the morphology of nuclear domains, we examined the distribution of certain marker components. For that end, we used antibodies with subsequent detection of colloidal gold particles. The results of the study suggest that ultrastructural surface may reflect functional status of a nuclear body,’ says Alla Krasikova.

Click on the link to learn more about the study  Low-voltage scanning electron microscopy study of lampbrush chromosomes and nuclear bodies in avian and amphibian oocytes