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Development. 1990 Dec;110(4):1263-70.

Nucleolar distribution of proteins B23 and nucleolin in mouse preimplantation embryos as visualized by immunoelectron microscopy.

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  • 1Centre of Electron Microscopy, University of Lausanne, Switzerland.


The ultrastructural distribution of proteins B23 and nucleolin in the nucleolus of mouse embryos from the zygote to the early blastocyst has been analyzed by means of specific antibodies and immunocytochemistry using colloidal gold complexes as markers. In parallel, silver staining of nucleoli was carried out on ultrathin sections. Our results show that the compact prenucleolar bodies at 1- and 2-cell stage as well as the compact residual fibrillar masses observed up to the morula stage, are labelled with the two antibodies. These masses, however, are not stained with silver up to the 4-cell stage. In well-developed nucleoli, the two antibodies co-localize in the dense fibrillar component (DFC) and the granular component (GC) while fibrillar centers (FCs) are devoid of label. On the contrary, silver staining occurs in the FCs and DFC but not in the GC. Our observations suggest that there is no direct relationship between the occurrence of silver staining and the distribution of protein B23 or nucleolin. Moreover, neither the localization of the two above proteins nor silver staining are unequivocally related to the nucleolar activity.

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