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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Immunolocalization, quantitation and cellular heterogeneity of apolipoprotein B in rat hepatocytes.

Hepatocyte autofluorescence represents a major problem in immunofluorescence studies with fluorescein conjugates because of significant spectral overlap. We describe a method for immunostaining hepatocytes with R-phycoerythrin (a fluorochrome with minimal overlap with autofluorescence) with paraformaldehyde fixation and Triton X-100 permeabilization for better antibody penetration. This method produced both perinuclear (presumed Golgi apparatus) and dispersed, reticular staining (presumed endoplasmic reticulum) in rat hepatocytes in culture stained with a monoclonal antibody to rat apolipoprotein B. Treatment with brefeldin A resulted in loss of apolipoprotein B perinuclear staining and increased reticular immunofluorescence consistent with known properties of brefeldin A (inhibition of protein transport within the secretory pathway by dissolution of Golgi bodies). This suggests that apolipoprotein B epitopes are present in both Golgi bodies and endoplasmic reticulum. To demonstrate the utility of the technique for quantitative studies, static cell cytofluorometry of brefeldin A-treated cells was performed, demonstrating increases in specific immunofluorescence of apolipoprotein B corresponding closely to results estimated by monoclonal antibody radioimmunoassays of cellular homogenates. The technique was then used with flow cytometry of single-cell suspensions of control rat hepatocytes derived from immunostained primary cultures to reveal cell-to-cell heterogeneity of apolipoprotein B epitope expression manifested as apolipoprotein B-negative and positive populations. Results for brefeldin A-treated cells revealed even clearer delineation of heterogeneity as indicated by frank bimodality of the populations, along with not only higher mean apolipoprotein B levels but also a significantly higher proportion of apolipoprotein B-positive cells than in the control.[1]


  1. Immunolocalization, quantitation and cellular heterogeneity of apolipoprotein B in rat hepatocytes. Corsetti, J.P., Way, B.A., Sparks, C.E., Sparks, J.D. Hepatology (1992) [Pubmed]
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