Article: article from journal or magazin.
Enhanced resolution of membranes in cultured cells by cryoimmobilization and freeze-substitution.
Microscopy Research and Technique
Investigations of cellular processes demand immediate arresting of the process at any given time and excellent retention of cellular material and excellent visibility of membranes. To achieve this goal we used cryofixation to arrest cellular processes instantly and tested diverse freeze-substitution protocols. Madin-Darby kidney cells and Vero cells were grown on carbon-coated sapphire disks. For cryofixation the sapphire disks covered with a cell monolayer were injected with the aid of a guillotine into liquid propane or ethane or a mixture of both cooled by liquid nitrogen. Freezing of the cryogen was prevented by using a partially insulated cylinder and by vigorous stirring that results in a substantial decrement of the freezing point of the cryogen. Cell monolayers can be cryofixed successfully using the guillotine in a safety hood at ambient temperature and humidity or at 37 degrees C and 45% humidity. The freezing unit can also be placed in a laminar flow for working under biohazard conditions. For visualizing cell membranes at high contrast and high resolution, cells were substituted in the presence of various concentrations of glutaraldehyde and osmium tetroxide and the temperature was raised to diverse final temperatures. Substitution for 4 hours at -90 degrees C in anhydrous acetone containing 0.25% anhydrous glutaraldehyde and 0.5% osmium tetroxide followed by a temperature rise of 5 degrees C/hour to 0 degrees C and final incubation for 1 hour at 0 degrees C resulted in high contrast and excellent visibility of subcellular components at the level of the membrane bilayer. The high spatial and temporal resolution makes this methodology an excellent tool for studying cell membrane-bound processes, such as virus-cell interactions.
Animals, Cell Line, Cell Membrane/ultrastructure, Cell Nucleus/ultrastructure, Cercopithecus aethiops, Cryoprotective Agents, Freeze Substitution/methods, Temperature, Tissue Fixation, Vero Cells
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