The amounts of DNA in interphase nuclei were compared with the amounts of DNA in metaphase and anaphase figures in Feulgen-stained tissue sections of 5 specimens of the human ovarian papillary serous adenocarcinoma. The relative amounts of DNA per cell were determined by cytophotometric measurements of interphase nuclei at a single wavelength and of mitotic figures by the two wavelength method.

The 5 specimens conformed to the stem cell concept of cell proliferation since anaphase distributions of amounts of DNA were restricted to a narrow range of DNA values indicating the successful mitosis of a single cell type (stem cell) out of several cell types whose presence were suggested by the wide spread of interphase and metaphase values. In addition, the data indicated that, in some instances, only the amounts of DNA in anaphase figures can reliably identify the stem cell. Changes in the frequency of dividing cells having doubled amounts of DNA, and/or the presence of cells resulting from endoreduplication can distort the interphase distribution of amounts of DNA and thus give rise to a modal DNA interphase value which is not the same as the DNA value of the stem cell (anaphase figures).

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