Polarized light microscopy in reproductive and developmental biology

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Koike-Tani, Maki
Tani, Tomomi
Mehta, Shalin B.
Verma, Amitabh
Oldenbourg, Rudolf
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Light microscopy
Polarized light
Polarized fluorescence
Brain slices
The polarized light microscope reveals orientational order in native molecular structures inside living cells, tissues, and whole organisms. Therefore, it is a powerful tool to monitor and analyze the early developmental stages of organisms that lend themselves to microscopic observations. In this article we briefly discuss the components specific to a traditional polarizing microscope and some historically important observations on chromosome packing in sperm head, first zygote division of the sea urchin, and differentiation initiated by the first uneven cell division in the sand dollar. We then introduce the LC-PolScope and describe its use for measuring birefringence and polarized fluorescence in living cells and tissues. Applications range from the enucleation of mouse oocytes to analyzing the polarized fluorescence of the water strider acrosome. We end by reporting first results on the birefringence of the developing chick brain, which we analyzed between developmental stages of days 12 through 20.
Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2013. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of John Wiley & Sons for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Molecular Reproduction and Development (2013), doi:10.1002/mrd.22221.
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