Utilizing commercial microwave for rapid and effective immunostaining

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Journal of Neuroscience Methods (Impact Factor: 2.05). 07/2013; 219(1). DOI: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2013.07.002
Source: PubMed


There is an accumulating literature demonstrating the application of microwaves across a wide spectrum of histological techniques. Although exposure to microwaves for short periods resulted in substantial acceleration of all procedures this technique still is not adopted widely. In part, this may be due to concerns over solutions that will avoid induction of thermal damage to the tissue when using standard microwave. Here, we offer a cooling setup that can be used with conventional microwave ovens. We utilized dry ice for effective cooling during microwave irradiation of tissue samples. To prevent overheating, the cups with tissue during exposure to microwaves were surrounded with powdered dry ice. Since the dry ice does not touch the walls of the cups, freezing is prevented. Overheating is avoided by alternating the microwave treatment with 1-2minute time periods when the cups are cooled outside of the microwave oven. This technique was used on mouse brain sections that were immunostained with microglia-specific CD68 antiserum and astrocyte labeling GFAP antibody. Both standard and microwave-assisted immonolabeling gave comparable results visualizing cells with fine processes and low background signal. Short incubation time in the microwave requires high concentrations of antibody for tissue immunostaining. We show that by prolonging the microwaving procedure we were able to reduce the antibody concentration to the levels used in standard immunostaining protocol. In summary, our technique gives a possibility to use a conventional microwave for rapid and effective immunolabeling resulting in reduced amount of antibody required for satisfactory immunostaining.

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Available from: Tibor Kristian, Mar 12, 2014
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