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Eur J Cell Biol. 1994 Oct;65(1):82-93.

Cytochemical and immunocytochemical characterization of nuclear bodies during hibernation.

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Centre of Electron Microscopy, University of Lausanne, Switzerland.


Brown adipose tissue and liver of hibernating, arousing and euthermic individuals of the dormouse Muscardinus avellanarius were studies using ultrastructural cytochemistry and immunocytochemistry with the aim to investigate possible fine structural modifications of the cell nucleus during the seasonal cycle. The general morphology of brown adipocyte and hepatocyte nuclei was similar in the three experimental groups. However, three nuclear structural constituents were identified only in hibernating individuals: coiled bodies (CBs) and amorphous bodies (ABs) were observed in hepatocytes and, together with bundles of nucleoplasmic fibrils (NF), were present in brown adipocytes of hibernating dormice. In arousing animals only some structural constituents suggestive of poorly structured CBs were found. The latter showed the same immunocytochemical features as CBs of hibernating individuals, suggesting that they are disappearing CBs. A possible involvement of CBs in storing and/or processing RNA which must be rapidly and abundantly released upon arousal is discussed. ABs similarly to CBs contain RNA and nucleoplasmic ribonucleoproteins (RNPs) and could also be involved in mRNA pathways. NF do not contain nucleic acids or RNPs and seem to be composed of protein-aceous material; their functional role in the nuclear metabolism of hibernating brown adipocytes remains unclear.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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