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Confocal Microscopy Image Gallery

Chinese Hamster Ovary

The Nikon MicroscopyU confocal microscopy image gallery was created with a PCM-2000 confocal scanning system interfaced to a Nikon Eclipse E600 upright microscope. Images were recorded in successive z-axis serial sections with C-Imaging Systems software with excitation illumination provided by an argon-ion and/or a helium-neon laser.

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Chinese hamsters are Old World rodents characterized by soft thick fur, large expandable cheek pouches, and relatively long tails. Because this small breed of hamster has a slender body and a tail that is unusually long, it is thought to resemble a mouse and is often referred to as "mouster". Native habitats include open and rather dry areas that extend from Mongolia eastwards to China and Manchuria. In the wild, the burrows of these small creatures can be found along the borders of deserts and in vast semi-dry grass-covered plains.

Chinese hamsters are nocturnal creatures -- they are active at night and sleep during most of the day. Similar to other rodents, these animals rely heavily on the sense of smell and hearing and have relatively poor eyesight. Using their tails for balance, Chinese hamsters are good climbers and are also fast movers. Males are typically larger than females and grow to approximately ten to twelve centimeters in length.

Most animal cells display a finite lifetime when isolated and grown in a tissue culture medium that supplies necessary nutrients, salts, and vitamins. Typical vertebrate cells divide between 50 and 100 times before they fail to continue cell division and eventually die. Many theories suggest that this limited life span is related to the corresponding life cycle of the parent organism from which the cultured cells were derived.

Occasional changes in the genetic makeup of cultured cells allow them to propogate indefinitely, making them effectively immortal. Such lines are said to be transformed, and are often used in research as a standardized cell line. Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells were introduced in the early 1960s as a viable epithelial cell line containing twin female X chromosomes. The most common variety of CHO cells has a nutritional requirement for the amino acid proline, which makes this cell line an ideal candidate for genetic studies.

The confocal image sequences gathered with Chinese hamster ovary cells (CHO), grown in monolayer tissue culture, were a glycosylation mutant (Lec1) expressing a secreted form of recombinant avian Thy-1 green fluorescence fusion protein.