Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences

Document Type: Original Article(s)


1 Histomorphometry and Stereology Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 HIV/AIDS Research Centre (SHARC), Department of Bacteriology and Virology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


Background: Morphological changes of the cells infected with rubella virus cannot be observed easily. Estimation of the size of the cultured cells can be a valuable parameter in this condition. This study was conducted to find answers to the following questions:How much time after infection with rubella virus, the volume and surface area of the Vero cells and their nuclei get started to change?How is it possible to apply stereological methods to estimate the volume and surface area of the cultured cells using the invariator, nucleator, and surfactor techniques?Methods: The cultured Vero cells were infected with rubella virus. The cells of the control and experimental groups were harvested at 2, 4, 8, 24, and 48 hours following the incubation period. The cells were processed and embedded in paraffin. Invariator, nucleator, and surfactor were applied to estimate the size of the Vero cells and their nuclei.Results: The cell volume was decreased by 15-24%, 48 hours after the infection in comparison to the non-infected cells. Besides, the cell surface area was decreased by 13%, 48 hours after the infection. However, no changes were detected in the nuclei. The values of the standard deviation and coefficient of variation of the cells, estimated by invariator, were lower compared to those measured by the nucleator or surfactor.Conclusion: In this study, the volume and surface area of the Vero cells were reduced by rubella virus 48 hours after infection. Invariator is a more precise method compared to nucleator or surfactor.