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Extranuclear DNA: A Normal Phenomenon or an Indication of Pathology?

Thursday, November 07, 2013 — Poster Session II

12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

FAES Academic Center (Upper-Level Terrace)




  • AJ Ogilvy
  • DF Shen
  • Y Wang
  • CC Chan
  • M Abu-Asab


The appearance of extranuclear DNA (enDNA) in cells is a phenomenon that has been known for years, but has only recently received attention in the literature. The objective of our investigation was to determine whether or not the appearance of extranuclear DNA in the RPE layer of the mouse eye was a normal phenomenon, or due to a pathological state. We analyzed four different strains of mice using electron microscopy, using both ultrastructural analysis and immunolabeling techniques. In degenerate RPE cells we found presence of enDNA, which was confirmed by immunolabeling, but no enDNA in healthy RPE cells. This suggests that enDNA is the product of some pathological event inside the cell that causes chromatin material to leak out of the nucleus and into the cytoplasm.

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