Characterization of chromatin distribution in cell nuclei

Cytometry. 1986 Sep;7(5):467-74. doi: 10.1002/cyto.990070513.


In this paper we develop four measures to describe the distribution of nuclear chromatin. These measures attempt to describe in an objective and meaningful way the heterogeneity, granularity, condensation, and margination of chromatin in cell nuclei. Starting with a high-resolution digitized image of a cell where the nuclear pixels have been identified, the four measures may be rapidly estimated. The range of each is derived and the interpretation of the measures in the context of chromatin compaction and distribution is developed. Implementation issues such as sampling density, thresholding and subsequent pre-processing, and algorithmic complexity are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleus / analysis*
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Chromatin / analysis*
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • Flow Cytometry / methods
  • Mathematics
  • Models, Genetic*


  • Chromatin