Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Antibodies from the serum of patients with the autoimmune disease scleroderma CREST were used to investigate the association and distribution of kinetochores in mouse cells during meiosis and spermiogenesis. The pattern of indirect immunofluorescent staining in pachytene nuclei indicated that each autosomal bivalent contains one fluorescent spot. Throughout pachytene, the kinetochores were arranged non-randomly into several clusters and distributed around the periphery of the nucleus. In subsequent stages of meiotic prophase I, distribution was random and the number of fluorescent spots increased from 21 to 40 corresponding to the diploid chromosome number and the number of halfbivalents oriented to the spindle poles at the metaphase I. Twenty pairs of kinetochores were observed at metaphase II. During spermiogenesis, the number of kinetochores correlated with the haploid chromosome number in early spermatids but tandem association of centromeres and clustering into a conspicuous chromocenter corresponded to a significant reduction in the number of fluorescent foci in mid-spermatid nuclei. The number of stained sites per nucleus continued to decrease during sperm maturation and total absence of staining was apparent in mature spermatozoa. Immunoblotting of proteins extracted from mature sperm however, indicated that a kinetochore antigen of Mr 80,000 was still present. Therefore, the absence of kinetochore staining in mature spermatozoa is probably due to the blockage of epitopes during chromatin condensation.
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