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Immunostaining of the Embryonic and Larval Drosophila Brain

  • Frank HirthEmail author
  • Danielle C. Diaper
Protocol
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 2047)

Abstract

Immunostaining is used to visualize the spatiotemporal expression pattern of developmental control genes that regulate the genesis and specification of the embryonic and larval brain of Drosophila. It is also used to visualize the effects of targeted misexpression or inactivation of disease-related genes. Immunostaining uses specific antibodies to mark expressed proteins and allows their localization to be traced. This method reveals insights into gene regulation, cell type specification, neuron and glial differentiation, axonal and synaptic scaffolding and posttranslational protein modifications underlying the patterning and specification of the maturing brain. Depending on the targeted protein, it is possible to visualize a multitude of regions of the Drosophila brain, such as small groups of neurons or glia, defined subcomponents of the brain’s axon scaffold, or pre- and postsynaptic structures of neurons. Thus, antibody probes that recognize defined tissues, cells, or subcellular structures like axons or synaptic terminals can be used as markers to identify and analyze phenotypes in embryos and larvae. Several antibodies, combined with different labels can be used concurrently to examine protein colocalization. This protocol spans over 3–4 days.

Keywords

Drosophila Embryo Larva Brain Immunostaining Fluorescence immunocytochemistry Dissection Antibody 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the UK Medical Research Council (G0701498; MR/L010666/1), the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/N001230/1), the MND Association (Hirth/Nov15/914-793; Hirth/Oct13/6202; Hirth/Mar12/6085; Hirth/Oct07/6233), and Alzheimer’s Research UK (Hirth/ARUK/2012) to F.H.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Basic and Clinical Neuroscience, Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and NeuroscienceKing’s College LondonLondonUK

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