The three-dimensional morphology and distribution of human chromosomes 3 were studied in nuclei of spermatogonia and spermatocytes I from formaldehyde-fixed human testis sections. Chromosome arms, pericentromeres and telomeric regions were painted by a three-color, five-probe fluorescence in situ hybridization protocol. Light optical serial sections of premeiotic and meiotic nuclei obtained by confocal laser scanning microscopy revealed that premeiotic chromosomes 3 are separate from each other and occupy variably shaped territories, which are sectored in distinct 3 p- and q-arm domains. Three-dimensional reconstructions of the painted chromosome domains by a Voronoi tessellation approach showed that mean chromosome volumes did not differ significantly among the premeiotic and meiotic stages investigated. A significant increase in surface area and reduction of dimensionless ‘roundness factor’ estimates of arm domains indicated that the restructuring of spatially separate chromosome territories initiates during preleptotene. Telomeric regions, which in meiotic stem cells located predominantly in arm-domain chromatin, showed a redistribution towards the domain surface during this stage. At leptotene homologues were generally misaligned and displayed intimate intermingling of non-homologous chromatin. Pairing initiated at the ends of bent zygotene chromosomes, which displayed a complex surface structure with discernible sister chromatids. The results indicate that, in mammals, homology search is executed during leptotene, after remodeling of chromosome territories.
Aspects of three-dimensional chromosome reorganization during the onset of human male meiotic prophase
- Views Icon Views
- PDF LinkPDF
- Share Icon Share
- Search Site
H. Scherthan, R. Eils, E. Trelles-Sticken, S. Dietzel, T. Cremer, H. Walt, A. Jauch; Aspects of three-dimensional chromosome reorganization during the onset of human male meiotic prophase. J Cell Sci 15 August 1998; 111 (16): 2337–2351. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/jcs.111.16.2337
Download citation file: