Image of the Month 2017

May - Mounting Tensions: Stress Fibres take Shape

Image of the month

Image by Daisy Shu, Lovicu Group, Anatomy and Histology

During epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), epithelial cells lose their polarity and transdifferentiate into motile and contractile mesenchymal cells. This process involves a reorganisation of the actin cytoskeleton into dynamic stress fibres, enabling cells to transmit contractile forces. Here we see human lens epithelial cells that have undergone EMT following treatment with TGFβ. The cells exhibit strong immunoreactivity for the mesenchymal marker, alpha-smooth muscle actin (red), localising to stress fibre bundles, and a concomitant translocation of the epithelial marker, beta-catenin (green) from the membrane to the perinuclear region. The nucleus is stained with the Hoechst bisbenzimide stain (blue).

Taken on a Zeiss LSM-5Pa confocal microscope.


April - Heart of Darkness

Image of the month

Image by Bobby Boumelhelm, Fraser Group, Physiology

Pictured here is epicardial adipose (fat) tissue imaged under scanning electron microscopy. The pseudo-colouring showcases the adipocytes (olive green) within the extracellular matrix (red) of
epicardial tissue.

Taken with assistance from Jia Hao Yeo.


March - Insulin-producing Beta cells of the Pancreas

Image of the month

Image by Jason Tong, Thorn Group, Physiology

This image of the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas was taken using super-resolution STED microscopy. The insulin (labelled red) is found in vesicles in the cytoplasm of the cells.

Green: Arp3 (actin-related protein 3), labelled with, Alexa Fluor 488
Magenta: F-actin labelled with Alexa Fluor 594
Red: Insulin, labelled with Alexa Fluor 633


February - Microstructures between Developing Erythroid cells in the Erythroid Niches

Image of the month

Image by Jia Hao Yeo, Physiology

Erythroid niches are specialized bone marrow niches for erythroid cells. Despite their discovery in the 1950s, little is known about the morphology of these erythroblastic islands. This scanning electron micrograph reveals pilus like structures between the developing erythroid cells and other microstructures that have not previously been described.


January - Transverse Section of a Sperm Flagellum

Image of the month

Image by Sam Dowland, Anatomy and Histology

Transmission electron micrograph of a cross section of a sperm flagellum showing the characteristic “9 + 2” arrangement of microtubules in the axoneme. Nine fused microtubule doublets form a ring surrounding two single microtubules at the centre. Nine mitochondria can be seen to surround the periphery of the axoneme, one for each microtubule doublet.