EM-ISEL: A Useful Tool to Visualize DNA Damage at the Ultrastructural Level

  • Antonio MigheliEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 682)


A method for the localization of DNA strand breaks at the ultrastructural level is presented. The technique involves the use of terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase and labeled dUTP. Incorporation of labeled nucleotides is visualized through colloidal gold labeling. Cells undergoing apoptotic or necrotic cell death, as well as cells showing death-unrelated DNA damage, can be easily distinguished. The technique uses tissues routinely processed for electron microscopy. It has been successfully applied to study DNA damage and apoptosis in different pathologic conditions. The feasibility of this technique for retrospective studies on archival material is emphasized.

Key words

DNA damage In situ end-labeling Electron microscopy Apoptosis Necrosis 



The financial support of Regione Piemonte-Ricerca Sanitaria Finalizzata is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro Regionale Diagnosi ed Osservazione delle Malattie Prioniche DOMP-ASL TO2TurinItaly

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