Quantitative immunocytochemistry using an image analyzer. II. Concentration standards for transmitter immunocytochemistry

Academic Article


  • Image analyzers can measure both the optical density and geometry of immunocytochemically labeled cells and fibers, as reviewed in a companion paper (Mize et al., 1988). In this paper, we report a procedure which allows us to estimate the concentration of a neurotransmitter based upon the optical density of antibody labeling produced by immunocytochemistry. To accomplish this, we developed a standard which binds conjugated neurotransmitters. Several artificial media for the standard were compared, including agar, gelatin, and agar-gelatin. A 3% agar matrix was found to be most suitable because it cut well and was nearly transparent. The agar sections were activated with cyanogen bromide/acetonitrile to promote coupling to the antigen. To test the standard, we used γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) conjugated to bovine serum albumin (BSA) as the antigen. The antibody was directed against this conjugate. Activated agar sections were incubated in serial dilutions of the tritium-labeled GABA/BSA conjugate. The radioactivity of some of these sections was measured to estimate the amount of coupled antigen. The remaining sections were incubated in the GABA antibody and processed for immunocytochemistry. The optical density of these sections was measured with an image analyzer. A linear relationship was found between GABA concentration and optical density over a range of at least 0.01 to 1 nmol/mg of agar. These results show that the concentration of bound GABA can be estimated from the optical density of sections labeled by antibody immunocytochemistry. The applicability of this technique to fixed brain tissue is discussed. © 1988.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 22316048
  • Author List

  • Nabors LB; Songu-Mize E; Mize RR
  • Start Page

  • 25
  • End Page

  • 34
  • Volume

  • 26
  • Issue

  • 1