Scanning Microscopy


Although X-ray microanalysis has become a well established technique in the study of tissues there are still relatively few papers reporting results from cells in culture. Our early investigations on freshly isolated murine thymocytes reported higher than expected concentrations of Na and Cl in these cells but subsequent studies have shown that these high concentrations are artefactual. Rat thymocytes that have been isolated and incubated for a short time to allow them to recover from the isolation procedure have lower concentrations of Na and Cl. Sections prepared from pellets of cells which have been concentrated by centrifugation in a microhaematocrit centrifuge have concentrations of Na and Cl which are within the range that has been described for thymocytes in tissues. This method of concentration can be applied successfully to the study of white cells from the peripheral blood. In diabetic animals pyknotic cells occur in the thymus. These cells are characterised by low concentrations of K but no rise in the concentration of Na. Study of thymocytes isolated from a diabetic animal also show pyknotic cells low in K confirming these observations.

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