Virchows Archiv B

, 29:343 | Cite as

Cell proliferation in epithelium of murine oral mucosa in vivo and in vitro

An autoradiographic study using tritiated thymidine
  • Douglas Alwyn Luke


The H3TdR labelling index (LI) in epithelium of oral mucosa of adult male mice was determined in vitro at 4-hourly intervals over a period of 25 h and compared with the LI in vivo at the same time of day. The LI in vivo showed little diurnal variation. The LI in vitro remained the same as that in vivo for the first 9 h of culture and then began to increase, reaching a value three times that in vivo after 25 h of culture. The rise in LI occurred in epithelium from all regions of the explants but was greater near to the edge than in the centre, suggesting that it was a reaction to wounding. Grain counting indicated that the rate of DNA synthesis remained about the same during culture, declining only slightly after 25 h in vitro. This suggests that the rise in LI was not caused by a reduction in the rate of DNA synthesis but further investigations are required to determine whether or not it reflects a real increase in the rate of entry of cells into DNA synthesis or merely a reduced rate of exit from DNA synthesis. The lag period of about 9 h before the LI increased is similar to that observed in other perturbed systems of proliferating cells. The in vitro technique could be used to determine the LI from biopsies of human oral mucosa provided that the tissue is exposed to H3TdR within 9 h of excision.

Key words

Autoradiography Cell division Mice, inbred BALB C Mouth mucosa Organ culture 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas Alwyn Luke
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Newcastle upon TyneEngland

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