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Anatomy Atlases: Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 1 - Cells Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 1 - Cells

Plate 1.2: Nucleus

Female sex chromatin
A. peripheral blood smear,
B. buccal epithelium, and C. corpus luteum

Ronald A. Bergman, Ph.D., Adel K. Afifi, M.D., Paul M. Heidger, Jr., Ph.D.
Peer Review Status: Externally Peer Reviewed

Female sex chromatin
A. peripheral blood smear,
B. buccal epithelium, and C. corpus luteum

Plate 1.2: Nucleus

A. Human, air-dried smear, Wright's stain, 1416 x.
B. Human, buccal epithelium scraping, aceto-orcein stain, 500 x.
C. Human, 10 % formalin, H. & E., 1416 x.

This plate shows the appearance of female sex chromatin in a neutrophil (A), a buccal smear (B), and corpus luteum cells C. Sex chromatin (Barr* body), composed of one of the X chromosomes that remains condensed in interphase, is usually seen as a discrete structure in the nucleus. Sex chromatin is presumably present in all cells in the female, but, in the majority of cells, it is obscured within the nucleus.

A: Portion of a peripheral blood smear showing abundant red blood cells and a single polymorphonuclear (neutrophilic) granulocyte. The deeply stained chromatin of the mature neutrophil nucleus is characteristically segmented or multilobed. The lobes are attached by thin chromatin threads. Attached to one of the lobes is a small "drumstick" appendage, the sex chromatin. This appendage is found in about 3 percent of the neutrophils in females.

B: A buccal smear was prepared by scraping the stratified squamous epithelium of the oral cavity. The stratified squamous cell is poorly delineated, but the nucleus of the cell is stained and shows a sex chromatin body (reddish-brown coloration) on the nuclear membrane. The sex chromatin body may appear convex or triangular in shape. It may also lie near the center of the nucleus.

C: A section of the corpus luteum, showing a nucleus of the granulosa lutein cell with a sex chromatin body adhering to the nuclear membrane.

*Barr, 1908-, is a Canadian microanatomist.

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