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Use of peroxidatic-enzyme staining to enhance resolution of cultured mammalian cells under phase microscopy.

Authors
  • Singer, I I
Type
Published Article
Journal
Stain technology
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1975
Volume
50
Issue
1
Pages
11–17
Identifiers
PMID: 46631
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Staining of glutaraldehyde-fixed mammalian cells with peroxidatic enzymes (horseradish peroxidase or horse heart cytochrome c) greatly enhances resolution of their structure under phase microscopy. The topography of cell processes and regions of intercellular contact and overlapping is resolved precisely, even in dense cultures mounted in media which ordinarily do not permit clear demonstration of these areas. The technique is therefore a useful aid to the study of cultured cells with phase optics. Labeling depends on introducing free aldehydes into cells through the use of bifunctional fixatives such as glutaraldehyde. Acetone or formaldehyde fixation prevents staining, and labeling intensity is greatly diminished by pretreatment with spermine, a polyamine that reacts with glutaraldehyde. Electron microscopy reveals that peroxidase tags membranes preferentially; some areas are labeled smoothly, others in a punctate manner. Ribosomes are sharply contrasted, but nuclei remain unstained. Cytochrome c labels condensed nuclear chromatin intensely, and also stains ribosomes and portions of the cytoplasmic ground substance; membranes are mostly unmarked.

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