Simultaneous detection of EGFP and cell surface markers by fluorescence microscopy in lymphoid tissues

Academic Article


  • Enhanced GFP (EGFP) is a powerful tool for the visualization of tagged proteins and transfected cells and is easily detected by fluorescence microscopy or flow cytometry in living cells. However, soluble EGFP molecules can be lost if cell integrity is disrupted by freezing, sectioning, or permeablization. Furthermore, the fluorescence of EGFP is dependent on its conformation. Therefore, fixation protocols that immobilize EGFP may also destroy its usefulness as a fluorescent reporter. Here we determined which methods of preparing murine lymphoid tissues immobilized soluble EGFP protein and retained its fluorescence while simultaneously maintaining the antigenicity of various immunologically important molecules and best preserving the overall morphology of the tissues. We found that EGFP could not be visualized in frozen sections of spleen that had not been fixed before freezing. However, robust EGFP fluorescence could be observed in frozen sections of tissues fixed under various conditions. Fixation was important to immobilize EGFP rather than to maintain conformation, because only minimal EGFP could be detected by immunofluorescence in unfixed frozen sections. Although it had little effect on EGFP fluorescence, the inclusion of sucrose during fixation better preserved the morphology of fixed tissues. These methods also preserved the antigenicity of a wide variety of molecules used to identify cell types in lymphoid tissues.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 6807552
  • Author List

  • Kusser KL; Randall TD
  • Start Page

  • 5
  • End Page

  • 14
  • Volume

  • 51
  • Issue

  • 1