Probing microtubules polarity in mitotic spindles in situ using Interferometric Second Harmonic Generation Microscopy

Sci Rep. 2017 Jul 28;7(1):6758. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-06648-4.


The polarity of microtubules is thought to be involved in spindle assembly, cytokinesis or active molecular transport. However, its exact role remains poorly understood, mainly because of the challenge to measure microtubule polarity in intact cells. We report here the use of fast Interferometric Second Harmonic Generation microscopy to study the polarity of microtubules forming the mitotic spindles in a zebrafish embryo. This technique provides a powerful tool to study mitotic spindle formation and may be directly transferable for investigating the kinetics and function of microtubule polarity in other aspects of subcellular motility or in native tissues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / metabolism
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Interferometry*
  • Microtubules / metabolism*
  • Second Harmonic Generation Microscopy*
  • Spindle Apparatus / metabolism*
  • Time-Lapse Imaging
  • Zebrafish / embryology