Earlier reports indicated the presence of significant amounts of inorganic salts in the nucleus. In the present study the possibility that this might be related to the transcription process was tested on seminiferous epithelium of the adult mouse, using potassium pyroantimonate as a fixative. The results indicated that a correlation exists between the inorganic cations comprising the pyroantimonate-precipitable fraction and the RNA synthetic activity. During meiotic prophase an accumulation of cation-antimonate precipitates occurs dispersed through the middle pachytene nuclei, the stage in which RNA synthesis reaches a maximum. At other stages (zygotene to diplotene), where RNA synthesis falls to a low level, that pattern is not seen; cation-antimonate deposits are restricted to a few masses in areas apparently free of chromatin. The condensed sex chromosomes, the heterochromatin of the "basal knobs," the axial elements, and the synaptonemal complexes are devoid of antimonate deposits during the meiotic prophase. The Sertoli cells, active in RNA synthesis in both nucleoplasm and nucleolus, show cation-antimonate deposits at these sites. In the nucleoplasm some "patches" of precipitates appear coincident with clusters of interchromatin granules; in the nucleolus the inorganic cations are mainly located in the fibrillar and/or amorphous areas, whereas relatively few are shown by the granular component. The condensed chromatin bodies associated with the nucleolus were always free of antimonate precipitates. It is suggested that the observed sites of inorganic cation accumulation within the nucleus may at least partially indicate the presence of RNA polymerases, the activity of which is dependent on divalent cations.
INORGANIC CATIONS IN THE CELL NUCLEUS : Selective Accumulation during Meiotic Prophase in Mouse Testis
Laura L. Tres, A. L. Kierszenbaum, C. J. Tandler; INORGANIC CATIONS IN THE CELL NUCLEUS : Selective Accumulation during Meiotic Prophase in Mouse Testis . J Cell Biol 1 May 1972; 53 (2): 483–493. doi: https://doi.org/10.1083/jcb.53.2.483
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