Brief Communication | Published:

Near-infrared branding efficiently correlates light and electron microscopy

Nature Methods volume 8, pages 568570 (2011) | Download Citation

Abstract

The correlation of light and electron microscopy of complex tissues remains a major challenge. Here we report near-infrared branding (NIRB), which facilitates such correlation by using a pulsed, near-infrared laser to create defined fiducial marks in three dimensions in fixed tissue. As these marks are fluorescent and can be photo-oxidized to generate electron contrast, they can guide re-identification of previously imaged structures as small as dendritic spines by electron microscopy.

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Acknowledgements

We thank L. Godinho for critical reading of the manuscript. This work was supported by grants to M.K. and T.M. from the Dana Foundation and the Hertie Foundation and a grant to T.M. and D.B. from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. D.B. is supported by the US National Institutes of Health. Work in M.K.'s laboratory is financed through grants from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Emmy-Noether Program, SFB 571 and SFB 870), the German Federal Ministry of Research and Education (Competence Network Multiple Sclerosis) and the 'Verein Therapieforschung für MS-Kranke e.V.' T.M. is supported by the Institute of Advanced Study (Technische Universität München), the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (SFB 596), the Bundesministierium für Bildung und Forschung (ERA-Net 'two-photon imaging'), the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Center for Integrated Protein Science (Munich).

Author information

Author notes

    • Martin Kerschensteiner
    •  & Thomas Misgeld

    These authors contributed equally to this work.

Affiliations

  1. Department of Physiology, Indiana University School of Medicine–Muncie, Muncie, Indiana, USA.

    • Derron Bishop
    • , Mary Brinkoetter
    •  & Sharmon Knecht
  2. Research Unit Therapy Development, Institute of Clinical Neuroimmunology, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Germany.

    • Ivana Nikić
    • , Stephanie Potz
    •  & Martin Kerschensteiner
  3. Biomolecular Sensors and Center for Integrated Protein Sciences (Munich) at the Institute of Neuroscience, Technical University Munich, Munich, Germany.

    • Stephanie Potz
    •  & Thomas Misgeld
  4. Technical University Munich Institute for Advanced Study, Munich, Germany.

    • Thomas Misgeld

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Contributions

D.B., M.K. and T.M. conceived the experiments. I.N., S.P., M.K. and T.M. performed in vivo imaging and near-infrared branding experiments. M.B., S.K. and D.B. performed correlated serial electron microscopy. M.K., T.M. and D.B. wrote the paper.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Martin Kerschensteiner or Thomas Misgeld.

Supplementary information

PDF files

  1. 1.

    Supplementary Text and Figures

    Supplementary Figures 1–3

Videos

  1. 1.

    Supplementary Video 1

    Two-photon stack of the NIRB marks burned at different depths (letters N and R were burned at a depth of 15 μm and the letters I and B at a depth of 30 μm) in a cortex section derived from a wild-type mouse as shown in Figure 1a–c.

  2. 2.

    Supplementary Video 2

    Time-lapse of NIRB marking in a cortex section derived from a wild-type mouse using a line scan and interspersed scanning with a second laser (trans-illumination image with superimposed NIRB fluorescence, orange).

  3. 3.

    Supplementary Video 3

    Movie sequence of the dendritic spine (shown in Figure 2) that illustrates the correlation between the confocal light microscopic image and ssTEM.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nmeth.1622

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