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Sample Preparation for Multicolor STED Microscopy

Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB,volume 2440)

Abstract

Stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy is one of the optical superresolution microscopy (SRM) techniques, more recently also referred to as nanoscopy, that have risen to popularity among biologists during the past decade. These techniques keep pushing the physical boundaries of optical resolution toward the molecular scale. Thereby, they enable biologists to image cellular and tissue structures at a level of almost molecular detail that was previously only achievable using electron microscopy. All the while, they retain the advantages of light microscopy, in particular with regards to sample preparation and flexibility of imaging. Commercially available SRM setups have become more and more available and also increasingly sophisticated, both in terms of optical performance and, importantly, ease of use. Institutional microscopy core facilities now offer widespread access to this type of systems. However, the field has grown so rapidly, and keeps growing, that biologists can be easily overwhelmed by the multitude of available techniques and approaches. From this vast array of SRM modalities, STED stands out in one respect: it is essentially an extension to an advanced confocal microscope. Most experienced users of confocal microscopy will find the transition to STED microscopy relatively easy as compared with some other SRM techniques. This also applies to STED sample preparation. Nonetheless, because resolution in STED microscopy does not only depend on the wavelength of the incident light and the numerical aperture of the objective, but crucially also on the square root of the intensity of the depletion laser and, in general, on the photochemical interaction of the fluorophore with the depletion laser, some additional considerations are necessary in STED sample preparation. Here we describe the single color staining of the somatostatin receptor subtype 2A (SSTR2A) and dual color staining of the trans-Golgi-network protein TGN 38 and the t-SNARE syntaxin-6 for STED in the endocrine cell line AtT20 and STED imaging of the samples, providing the protocols in as general a form as possible. The protocols in this chapter are used in this way in an institutional microscopy core facility.

Key words

  • Superresolution microscopy
  • Stimulated emission depletion (STED)
  • Optical resolution
  • Immunocytochemistry
  • Organic fluorophores
  • Antibodies
  • Nanobodies
  • SSTR2A
  • TGN-38
  • Syntaxin-6

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-1-0716-2051-9_15
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Abbreviations

BSA:

Bovine serum albumin

DMEM:

Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle’s Medium

FBS:

Fetal bovine serum

NA:

Numerical aperture

NGS:

Normal goat serum

PFA:

Paraformaldehyde solution

PBS:

Phosphate-buffered saline

PSF:

Point spread function

RI:

Refractive index

RT:

Room temperature

SNR :

Signal to noise ratio

SRM:

Super-resolution microscopy

SSTR2A:

Somatostatin receptor subtype 2A (mouse)

STED:

Stimulated emission depletion

TGN38:

A type 1 transmembrane protein located in the trans-Golgi network

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by Discovery Grant RGPIN/06096-2016 from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and an operating grant to improve and develop super-resolution microscopy at the Montreal Neurological Institute by the Bachynski Family Foundation to T.S. W.A. was the holder of a Jeanne Timmins Costello Fellowship from the Montreal Neurological Institute. We are deeply thankful to Naomi Takeda for administrative support.

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Alshafie, W., Stroh, T. (2022). Sample Preparation for Multicolor STED Microscopy. In: Heit, B. (eds) Fluorescent Microscopy. Methods in Molecular Biology, vol 2440. Humana, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-0716-2051-9_15

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-0716-2051-9_15

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