Vitrification of Tokuyasu-style immuno-labelled sections for correlative cryo light microscopy and cryo electron tomography

E. Bos, L. Hussaarts, J.R.T. van Weering, M.H. Ellisman, H. de Wit, A.J. Koster

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We present an approach for the preparation of immuno-labelled ultrathin sections from cells or tissue that are compatible with both fluorescence and transmission electron microscopy. Our approach is inspired by a method of Sabanay et al. (1991) that is based on the Tokuyasu technique for immunogold labelling of sections from aldehyde-fixed samples. The difference of this method with the original Tokuyasu technique is that the immuno-labelled sections are stabilized in a thin layer of vitreous water by plunge-freezing prior to electron microscopical observation. The vitrification step allows for phase contrast-based imaging at cryogenic conditions. We show that this immuno-labelling method is well-suited for imaging cellular ultrastructure in three dimensions (tomography) at cryogenic conditions, and that fluorescence associated with the sections is retained. This method is a valuable tool for Correlative Light and Electron Microscopy (CLEM), and we refer to this method in combination with CLEM as VOS (vitrification of sections). We provide examples for the application of VOS using dendritic cells and neurons, and show specifically that this method enables the researcher to navigate to lysosomes and synapses. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-282
JournalJournal of structural biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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