We used a novel adaptation of methods for microtubule polymerization in vitro to assess the MTOC activity of centrosomes in frozen-sectioned tissues. Remarkably, centrosomes of tissue sections retain the ability to nucleate microtubules even after several years of storage as frozen tissue blocks. Adaptations of these methods allow accurate counts of microtubules from individual cells and the quantitative estimation the MTOC activity of the intact tissue. These methods can be utilized to characterize MTOC activity in normal and diseased tissues and in particular tissues at different stages of development.
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