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Histochemistry. 1993 Sep;100(3):193-202.

Remodelling of cardiomyocyte cytoarchitecture visualized by three-dimensional (3D) confocal microscopy.

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Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Institute for Cell Biology, Z├╝rich.


The break-down and reassembly of myofibrils in long-term cultures of adult rat cardiomyocytes was investigated by a novel combination of confocal laser scanning microscopy and three-dimensional image reconstruction, referred to as FTCS, to visualize the morphological changes these cells undergo in culture. FTCS is discussed as an alternative imaging mode to low-magnification scanning electron microscopy. The three-dimensional shape of the cells are correlated with the assembly state of myofibrils in different stages. Based on immunofluorescence and confocal laser scanning microscopy it was shown that myofibrils are degraded within a few days after plating and that newly assembled myofibrils are predominantly confined to the continuous area in the perinuclear region close to the membrane in contact with the substratum. The localization of myofibrils along the cell's vertical axis has been investigated both by optical sectioning using confocal light microscopy and by physical sectioning followed by transmission electron microscopy. Based on the distribution of myofibrillar proteins we propose a model of myofibrillar growth locating the putative assembly sites to a region concentric around the nuclei. We provide evidence that the cell shape is dominated by the myofibrillar apparatus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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