ISSN 1062-3604, Russian Journal of Developmental Biology, 2008, Vol. 39, No. 6, pp. 385–386. © Pleiades Publishing, Inc., 2008.
Original Russian Text © V.Ya. Brodsky, S.G. Vassetzky, 2008, published in Ontogenez, 2008, Vol. 39, No. 6, pp. 473–474.
Tamara B. Aizenshtadt, a well known embryologist
and cytologist, a representative of the elder generation
at the Kol’tsov Institute of Developmental Biology,
Russian Academy of Sciences, passed away. This loss
is aggravated since Tamar Aizenshtadt was our dear
friend from the ﬁrst day of work at the Institute.
Tamar B. Aizenshtadt, Dr. Sci. (Biology), was a
widely known specialist in oogenesis, one of the most
important processes in developmental biology. Starting
from 1964 she described in detail the structure of gonad
cells, speciﬁc features of oocytes growth and their
interactions with surrounding cells in a large series of
interesting papers. Her work was summarized in a
(Cytology of Oogen-
esis, Moscow: Nauka, 1984) largely based on her own
original observations. This book published in the well
known series of monographs on the problems of devel-
opmental biology has two sections: origin of germ cells
and cytological bases of oogenesis. Both problems are
very relevant from the ﬁrst steps of cytology. T.A.
described most full the gonad ultrastructure at different
stages of oocyte growth. She was a student of Prof.
G.A. Schmidt, one of the founders of comparative
embryology, and carried her studies on a wide circle of
animals, from sponges and coelenterates to ﬁsh and
The ﬁrst cytoembryological publication of T.A. was
entitled “Morphology of Gonad of the Snail Leech as
Seen by Light and Electron Microscopy”. She carried
her studies on this very convenient (and now forgotten)
object also using cytochemical methods. She also stud-
ied oogenesis in some sponges, coelenterates, worms,
mollusks, ﬁsh, and amphibians. These studies were car-
ried out in cooperation with well known embryologists,
such as G.I. Korotkova, D.G. Polteva, and T.A. Dettlaff.
In the second section of her book, T.A., also on the
basis of her own data, classiﬁed the types of oogenesis
according to speciﬁc features of oocyte growth. She
considered in detail ways of interaction of a growing
oocyte with surrounding cells: follicular epithelium,
nurse cells, of trophocytes. Some studies summarized
in this section were carried in cooperation with her stu-
dents S.N. Ivanova, I.B. Bukhvalov, and N.V. Nikolova,
as well as with well known cytochemists K.G. Gaz-
aryan and T.L. Marshak. T.A. developed the concepts
of direct cell interactions which later made part of one
of the most important branches of developmental biol-
ogy related to cell-cell communications, signal sys-
tems, and self-organization of cell populations. This
trend is now developed in the Laboratory of Cytology,
where T.A. worked for many years, on other objects but
in the same circle of problems.
LOSSES OF SCIENCE
To the Memory of Tamara B. Aizenshtadt