Meiosis in the golden hamster: A confocal microscopy and flow cytometric analysis

Margaret Vigodner, L. M. Lewin, L. Shochat, L. Mittelman, R. Golan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study, confocal microscopy and flow-cytometry were utilized to follow meiosis in hamster spermatogenesis. Confocal microscopy was used as an analytical tool to observe spermatocytes inside the tubules following meiotic progression consecutively at defined spermatogenic stages. To study spermatocyte differentiation, the structure of the synaptonemal complex was studied in detail at various stages of hamster spermatogenesis using the antibody against SC3 (the protein of axial/lateral element). The synaptonemal complex was observed from the leptotene stage until the first meiotic division with maximal staining in mid-pachytene spermatocytes, suggesting a role for SC3 at this postrecombinational stage. In addition, 3-dimensional (3D) images of synaptonemal complex were observed, providing information about spatial distribution of the chromosomes within the nuclei of spermatocytes at different stages of meiosis. Changes in spermatocyte sizes and DNA condensation allowed assessment of meiosis by flow cytometry. Changes in chromatin condensation at different stages of hamster meiosis were followed, revealing decondensation from early to late pachytene stages. The analysis also allowed a comparing of chromatin status of mitotic and meiotic chromosomes, confirming the less compact structure of the latter, possibly connected to increased transcriptional activity during meiosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-95
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Reproduction and Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2003


  • Confocal microscopy
  • DNA condensation
  • Flow cytometry
  • Golden hamster
  • Meiosis
  • Synaptonemal complex


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