Chromatin condensation in erythropoiesis resolved by multipixel spectral imaging: Differentiation versus apoptosis

Chana Rothmann, Amos M. Cohen, Zvi Malik*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chromatin condensation and nuclear organization of May-Grunwald-Giemsa (MGG)-stained normal erythropoietic bone marrow cells and apoptotic red cell precursors were resolved by spectral bio-imaging. Multipixel spectra were obtained from single cells displaying a range of wavelengths of both transmitted and absorbed light. Two groups of spectra, of low- and high- intensity transmitted light, were revealed in the nuclei of each cell. The absorbance spectra served for the reconstruction of 'absorbance images' depicting the affinity of MGG stain for the chromatin of proerythroblasts and of basophilic, polychromatic, and orthochromatic normoblasts. The localization of different spectral components in the nuclei was resolved employing two mathematical methods, spectral similarity mapping and principal component analysis. Novel structures of high symmetry revealing windmill- like organization were detected in basophilic, polychromatic, and orthochromatic normoblast cells. Matching structures were detected in apoptotic normoblasts obtained from an agnogenic myeloid metaplasia patient. Apoptosis was associated with a gradual breakdown of the ordered arrays in the nucleus. We propose that DNA cleavage may lead to fragmentation of the symmetrical windmill-like superstructure of the basic nuclear domains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1097-1108
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Absorbance image
  • Apoptosis imaging
  • Eigen images
  • Erythropoiesis imaging
  • Multipixel spectroscopy
  • Spectral similarity mapping


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