Research techniques made simple immunofluorescence techniques
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Research Techniques Made Simple: Immunofluorescence Techniques. Ian D. Odell 1 , MD, PhD and Deborah Cook 2 , MD Departments of Medicine 1 and Pathology 2 University of Vermont College of Medicine Burlington, VT 05405.

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Research Techniques Made Simple: Immunofluorescence Techniques

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Research techniques made simple immunofluorescence techniques

Research Techniques Made Simple: Immunofluorescence Techniques

Ian D. Odell1, MD, PhD and Deborah Cook2, MD

Departments of Medicine1 and Pathology2

University of Vermont College of Medicine

Burlington, VT 05405

See related article:http://www.nature.com/jid/journal/v133/n1/full/jid2012455a.html


Research techniques made simple immunofluorescence techniques

Figure 1. Antibody structure and interactions. A cartoon of an immunoglobulin G antibody (IgG) is shown on the left. Each oval represents a 110 amino acid domain. The dark blue ovals together represent a heavy-chain polypeptide, the magenta ovals represent a light-chain polypeptide, and the yellow rectangles represent disulfide bonds between polypeptides. The cartoon on the right includes an antigen in purple and a fluorophore conjugated secondary antibody to demonstrate the binding events between antigen recognition and the fluorescent signal.

See related article:http://www.nature.com/jid/journal/v133/n1/full/jid2012455a.html


Steps in direct immunofluorescence

Steps in Direct Immunofluorescence

Tissue preparation

  • After biopsy, place tissue in Michel’s transport medium (3.12 M ammonium sulfate, 5 mM N-ethylmaleimide (NEM), and 5 mM magnesium sulfate heptahydrate)

  • When ready to cut, wash ammonium sulfate from specimen with PBS for 30 minutes.

  • Freeze specimen in isopentane and store at -70 C until ready to cut.

  • Cut sectionsat 5-6 microns, save first and last cuts for H&E staining.

  • Dry slides at 56°C for 30 minutes.

See related article:http://www.nature.com/jid/journal/v133/n1/full/jid2012455a.html


Steps in direct immunofluorescence1

Steps in Direct Immunofluorescence

Fixation and permeabilization

  • Fix slides in acetone or methanol for 15 minutes at room temperature (RT).

  • Discard acetone and dry slides again at 56°C for 30 minutes.

  • Rehydrate and wash slides in PBS x 5 minutes

See related article:http://www.nature.com/jid/journal/v133/n1/full/jid2012455a.html


Steps in direct immunofluorescence2

Steps in Direct Immunofluorescence

Detection

  • Apply one drop of antibody/slide, incubate for 30 minutes at RT in a dark humidity chamber.

  • Wash in PBS buffer 3 x 5 minutes.

  • Mount slide in glycerol/PBS mounting media.

  • Allow slides to dry for 3 minutes. Seal with nail polish.

  • View with epifluorescence microscope.

See related article:

http://www.nature.com/jid/journal/v133/n1/full/jid2012455a.html


Steps in indirect immunofluorescence

Steps in Indirect Immunofluorescence

  • Indirect immunofluorescence utilizes a two-step procedure to detect antigens

    • In the first step, a primary, unlabeled antibody is used to bind and detect the antigen

    • A second, fluorophore-labeled antibody binds the Fc portion of the first antibody

    • This technique is more sensitive because multiple secondary antibodies can bind to a single primary antibody, thus amplifying the signal.

See related article:http://www.nature.com/jid/journal/v133/n1/full/jid2012455a.html


Limitations of immunofluorescence

Limitations of Immunofluorescence

  • Quality and concentration of the antibody

  • Proper handling of the specimen

  • Choice of secondary antibodies.

  • Fluorophores undergo photobleaching as they are exposed to light, so they need to be stored in the dark and excited by the minimum light necessary for visualization.

See related article:http://www.nature.com/jid/journal/v133/n1/full/jid2012455a.html


Indirect immunofluorescence in dermatology

Indirect immunofluorescence in dermatology

  • In dermatology, indirect immunofluorescence techniques are used to detect serum autoantibodies

  • Patient serum (containing autoantibodies) is used as the primary antibody

    • Serum is incubated with slices of normal test skin and allowed to bind

    • Bound antibody is detected by a secondary, fluorophore-labeled antibody

See related article:http://www.nature.com/jid/journal/v133/n1/full/jid2012455a.html


Research techniques made simple immunofluorescence techniques

Figure 2. Time course of desmosome disassembly in response to pemphigus vulgaris (PV) IgG. Keratinocytes (KCs) were exposed to PV IgG at 4。C for 20 minutes and subsequently shifted to 37。C for 1, 3, 6 and 24 hours.The localization of human IgG and desmoplakin (DP) was monitored by immunofluorescence microscopy. In cells incubated at 4。C (a−c), PV IgG labels cell borders and desmoplakin staining is predominantly in punctate linear patterns at cell-cell junctions. After 1 hour of treatment, with PV IgG (d−f), the PV IgG-desmoglein-3 (Dsg3) molecules accumulate in a puncta that are distal to cell-cell borders, whereas desmoplakin (e) staining is unchanged. KCs treated with PV IgG for 3 and 6 hours exhibit a rearrangement of desmoplakin into linear arrays emanating from cell borders, which contain both Dsg3 and desmoplakin. Following treatment with PV IgG for 24 hours (m−o) both Dsg3 and desmoplakin are noticeably mislocalized and/or absent from cell-cell junctions. Bar = 10 mm.Reprinted from Jennings et al. (2011).

Jennings JM, Tucker DK, Kottke MD, et al. (2011) Desmosome disassembly in response to pemphigus vulgaris IgG occurs in distinct phases and can be reversed by expression of exogenous Dsg3. J Invest Dermatology 131:706-18.

See related article:http://www.nature.com/jid/journal/v133/n1/full/jid2012455a.html


Research techniques made simple immunofluorescence techniques

Figure 3. Immunological analysis of anti-desmoglein-3 (Dsg3) mAbs isolated from the paraneoplastic pemphigus (PNP) patient. Indirect immunofluorescence of anti-Dsg3 single-chain variable fragment (scFv) clones in human skin.(a) PNP-A1, (b) PNP-B1, and (c) PNP-C1 showed cell surface staining of the keratinocytes, whereas clone (d) PNP-D1, was negative. (e) An scFv isolated from a pemphigus vulgaris (PV) patient (D31)2/28 was used as a positive control. (f) Pretreatment of human skin cryosections with EDTA prevented the cell binding of PNP-C1 to keratinocytes. Bar = 100 mm. Reprinted from Saleh et al. (2012).

Saleh MA, Ishii K, Yamagami J, et al. (2012) Pathogenic anti-desmoglein 3 mAbs cloned from a paraneoplastic pemphigus patient by phage display. J Invest Dermatology 132:1141-8.

See related article:http://www.nature.com/jid/journal/v133/n1/full/jid2012455a.html


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