Preservation of ultrastructure and antigenicity for EM immunocytochemistry following intracellular recording and labeling of single cortical neurons in brain slices

M. Lubin, C. S. Leonard, C. Aoki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Knowledge of the distribution of neurotransmitters, neuromodulators, and transmitter receptors operating at specific synaptic sites on cortical neurons is essential for understanding the precise mechanisms that underlie the dynamic properties of cortical microcircuitry. We report on a new combination of techniques for analyzing chemically-specified synaptic input to individual cortical neurons first electrophysiologically characterized in the in vitro brain slice preparation. We tested the feasibility of this approach by performing intracellular recordings and biocytin injections in guinea pig medial prefrontal cortex slices and then by performing dual preembedding immunocytochemistry in order to localize neuronal nitric oxide synthase relative to single biocytin-filled neurons. The recorded cell and nitric oxide synthase immunoreactivity were visualized by light and electron microscopy utilizing both peroxidase and silver intensified gold stains. Single neurons were also dually visualized with fluorescence for light microscopy and with silver intensified gold for electron microscopy. Our findings indicate that both antigenicity and ultrastructure can be well preserved in tissue first used for in vitro slice experiments. This combination of methods should be widely applicable for analyzing the subcellular distribution of neuronal molecules such as receptors, channels and enzymes on physiologically characterized mammalian neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-102
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Volume81
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 1998

Keywords

  • Biocytin
  • Colloidal gold
  • Electron microscopy
  • Fluorescence
  • Immunocytochemistry
  • Nitric oxide synthase
  • Slice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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