2015 Volume 40 Issue 1 Pages 51-59
Although most cell lines undergo mitotic arrest after prolonged exposure to microtubule inhibitors, some cells subsequently exit this state and become tetraploid. Among these cells, limited numbers of rodent cells are known to undergo multinucleation to generate multiple small independent nuclei, or micronuclei by prolonged colcemid treatment. Micronuclei are thought to be formed when cells shift to a pseudo G1 phase, during which the onset of chromosomal decondensation allows individual chromosomes distributed throughout the cell to serve as sites for the reassembly of nuclear membranes. To better define this process, we used long-term live cell imaging to observe micronucleation induced in mouse A9 cells by treating with the microtubule inhibitor colcemid. Our observations confirm that nuclear envelope formation occurs when mitotic-arrested cells shift to a pseudo G1 phase and adopt a tetraploid state, accompanied by chromosome decondensation. Unexpectedly, only a small number of cells containing large micronuclei were formed. We found that tetraploid micronucleated cells proceeded through an additional cell cycle, shifting to a pseudo G1 phase and forming octoploid micronucleated cells that were smaller and more numerous compared with the tetraploid micronucleated cells. Our data suggest that micronucleation occur when cells shift from mitotic arrest to a pseudo G1 phase, and demonstrate that, rather than being a single event, micronucleation is an inducible recurrent process that leads to the formation of progressively smaller and more numerous micronuclei.