The nuclear lamina is a mesh-like network of fibres subjacent to the inner nuclear membrane that is believed to be involved in the specific spatial reorganisation of chromatin after mitosis. To determine how the lamina might be involved in chromatin reorganisation, we have performed indirect immunofluorescence studies on quiescent and proliferating human dermal fibroblasts (HDF). Two monoclonal antibodies recognising human lamins A and C and three different fixation methods were employed. In indirect immunofluorescence studies, cultures of quiescent cells displayed a uniform perinuclear distribution of the antibodies. In proliferating cultures two distinct populations of cells were observed: one population displayed a typical perinuclear antibody distribution, while the second population displayed an unusual pattern consisting of a series of spots and fibres within the nucleus. By inducing cell-cycle synchrony in cultures we were able to determine that the unusual internal distribution of the lamin antibodies was restricted to cells in G1. Optical sectioning and 3-D reconstruction of the lamina structures in G1 nuclei was performed with a confocal laser scanning microscope (CLSM). This revealed that the internal lamin structures consisted of small foci and fibres proliferating throughout the nucleus. These structures were shown to be closely associated with areas of condensed chromatin but not nuclear membrane. As cells progress towards S phase the internal lamin foci disappear.

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