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The pinealocyte nucleolus

Ultrastructural and stereological analysis of twenty-four-hour changes

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An ultrastructural and morphometric analysis was made of the nucleolar components in pinealocytes of 40 male Fischer rats sampled at eight times in an LD 12∶12 photoperiod cycle. Comparisons of results from the eight times showed variation in estimated mean volume of the granular component of ±29%, and of the fibrillar component ±11%, in relation to daily means. Peaks in mean volume of total nucleolus and its granular component occurred at 1 h of light. Near maximal and minimal mean volumes of the fibrillar component both occurred during both light and dark. Fibrillar centers (nucleolar organizer regions) of different sizes were found at all sampling times. It is concluded that temporal patterns in 24-h changes in the nucleolar components are most prominent in the granular component, and are more complex than suggested by changes in total nucleolar size or mean dimensions, and than represented by a simple biphasic circadian rhythm. Examples of different stages in the migration of the granular component, and of possible sites of nucleo-cytoplasmic transfer of nucleolar material, are described.

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Correspondence to Prof. G. M. Lew.

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Lew, G.M., Payer, A. & Quay, W.B. The pinealocyte nucleolus. Cell Tissue Res. 224, 195–206 (1982). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00217279

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Key words

  • Pinealocytes
  • Nucleolus
  • Rat
  • Ultrastructure
  • Twenty-four-hour changes