Apoptosis in mouse primordial germ cells: a study by transmission and scanning electron microscope

Maurizio Pesce, Massimo De Felici

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A detailed study of the death in vitro of mouse primordial germ cell (PGCs) by means of transmission and scanning electron microscopy is reported. The results show that after 4-5 h of culture 15-20% PGCs assume the typical morphological features of apoptotic cells, including chromatin condensation in dense masses under the nuclear membrane, compaction of the cytoplasm, crowding of organelles and surface protuberances. Cells then break up into discrete fragments (apoptotic bodies) which eventually degenerate by "secondary necrosis". It is possible that apoptosis plays a biologically useful role in avoiding uncontrolled PGC proliferation and in eliminating misplaced germ cells whose survivial might be harmful to the animal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-440
Number of pages6
JournalAnatomy and Embryology
Volume189
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 1994

Keywords

  • Apoptosis
  • Gametogenesis
  • Mouse embryo
  • Primordial germ cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Embryology
  • Anatomy
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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