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

Post-embedding methods for immunolocalization of elastin and related components in tissues.

Elastic tissue is composed of amorphous-appearing elastin and 12-nm diameter microfibrils, one component of which has recently been isolated and characterized as the 31 KD microfibril-associated glycoprotein MAGP. Monospecific antibodies to each of these components have been developed in this laboratory. The parameters that determine optimal localization of colloidal gold probes for post-embedding immunolabeling of elastic tissue components have been systematically studied in a variety of normal and developing tissues in mammals and birds. Protein A-gold probes stabilized with dextran have been shown to provide complexes that remain stable after more than 2 years. Conditions have been defined that permit precise localization within the extracellular matrix of antibodies to MAGP and to elastin, singly and together. Best results were obtained with acrylic resins (Lowicryl K4M or LR White). Fixation in glutaraldehyde or other aldehydic fixatives, with or without osmium, did not affect the immunostaining of elastic tissue with affinity-purified antibodies to tropoelastin, or to anti-[alpha-elastin] or anti-[alkali-insoluble elastin]. Immunostaining with the anti-MAGP antibody was less robust and was possible in tissues which had been fixed only lightly before embedding in Lowicryl K4M or LR White. This staining was enhanced by metaperiodate oxidation of the sections as well as by reduction of the tissues with sodium borohydride en bloc, followed by hyaluronidase digestion of the sections. The effects on immunostaining of a range of enzyme digestions have also been examined. Conditions have thus been defined that make possible detailed study of the relationship between elastic tissue, elastin-associated microfibrils, and other microfibrillar structures in normal and abnormal tissues during development and aging.[1]


  1. Post-embedding methods for immunolocalization of elastin and related components in tissues. White, J.F., Hughes, J.L., Kumaratilake, J.S., Fanning, J.C., Gibson, M.A., Krishnan, R., Cleary, E.G. J. Histochem. Cytochem. (1988) [Pubmed]
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