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Vol. 181, No. 2, 2005
Issue release date: March 2006

Mitotic Polyploidization in Trophoblast Giant Cells of the Alpaca

Klisch K. · Bevilacqua E. · Olivera L.V.M.
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Genome multiplication is a typical feature of trophoblast giant cell (TGC) development in many species. Elevated nuclear DNA contents can be achieved by modified cell cycles with a complete lack of mitosis (endoreduplication) or with incomplete mitoses. The aim of this study is to characterize genome multiplication in the alpaca TGC. Placental tissues of gestation days 150, 264 and 347 (near term) and term placentae were processed for light microscopy and for transmission electron microscopy. Each TGC showed many nuclear profiles. Observation of serial sections revealed that TGCs are truly multinucleate with several highly lobulated nuclei. Feulgen staining showed that TGC nuclei have a higher DNA content than nuclei of other trophoblast cells. The number of argyrophilic nucleolar organizer regions (AgNORs) in nuclear profiles of TGC was between 15 and 100, while other trophoblast cells showed 1 or 2 AgNORs. Large multipolar mitotic figures with maximal diameters of 80 µm were observed in the alpaca placentas on gestation days 264 and 347. No cytokinesis was seen in TGC. The results show that the mode of genome multiplication in the alpaca TGC is mitotic polyploidization. Subsequent acytokinetic mitoses may lead to an accumulation of chromosomes and centrioles in TGC. With increasing ploidy levels, the shape of these polyploidizing mitoses becomes more irregular. The restitution of nuclei after these complex multipolar mitoses is likely to result in the irregular nuclear shape in TGC.

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