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Improved techniques for use of the triploid cell marker in the axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum


Techniques for using the triploid cell marker for studying cell lineage during the development and regeneration of the axolotl limb are described. Triploid animals possess cells with three nucleoli while diploid animals possess cells with two nucleoli. We have developed a technique for isolating the limb dermis as a sheet of cells for whole-mount analysis of cellular ploidy. Whole-mount tissue preparations as well as paraffin-embedded sectioned tissues were stained specifically for nucleoli with bismuth. Cell counts from a number of triploid and diploid dermal preparations show that (1) diploid dermal cells never possess three nucleoli, (2) the frequency of trinucleolate cells in whole-mount triploid dermal preparations is not 100% but varies between animals from 30 to 76%, (3) within a single triploid animal, the frequency of trinucleolate cells in different dermal preparations is constant. These data establish the usefulness of this technique and emphasize the need for appropriate control cell counts when using the triploid cell marker in the axolotl.

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