The Nucleus pp 415-423 | Cite as

Electron Spectroscopic Imaging of the Nuclear Landscape

  • Kashif Ahmed
  • Ren Li
  • David P. Bazett-Jones
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 464)


Our understanding of sub-nuclear organisation is largely based on fluorescence and electron microscopy methods. Conventional electron microscopy, which depends on heavy atom contrast agents, provides excellent contrast of condensed chromatin and some sub-nuclear structures such as the nucleolus. Unfortunately, other components, 10-nm chromatin fibres for example, do not contrast well. Electron spectroscopic imaging partially overcomes this limitation. In particular, phosphorus and nitrogen mapping provide sufficient contrast and resolution to visualise 10-nm chromatin fibres, while providing an opportunity to distinguish protein-based from nucleic acid-based supramolecular structures, such as the cores of nuclear bodies. Electron spectroscopic imaging, therefore, offers an approach to address many questions related to the functional organisation of the interior of the cell nucleus, which is illustrated in this chapter.


Electron spectroscopic imaging Correlative microscopy Promyelocytic leukemia nuclear bodies Nucleus Chromatin Nuclear structure 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press, a part of Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kashif Ahmed
    • 1
  • Ren Li
    • 1
  • David P. Bazett-Jones
    • 1
  1. 1.Program in Genetics and Genome BiologyThe Hospital for Sick ChildrenTorontoCanada

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