Array tomography: semiautomated image alignment.
ABSTRACT Array tomography is a volumetric microscopy method based on physical serial sectioning. Ultrathin sections of a plastic-embedded tissue are cut using an ultramicrotome, bonded in an ordered array to a glass coverslip, stained as desired, and imaged. The resulting two-dimensional image tiles can then be reconstructed computationally into three-dimensional volume images for visualization and quantitative analysis. The minimal thickness of individual sections permits high-quality rapid staining and imaging, whereas the array format allows reliable and convenient section handling, staining, and automated imaging. Also, the physical stability of the arrays permits images to be acquired and registered from repeated cycles of staining, imaging, and stain elution, as well as from imaging using multiple modalities (e.g., fluorescence and electron microscopy). Array tomography makes it possible to visualize and quantify previously inaccessible features of tissue structure and molecular architecture. However, careful preparation of the tissue is essential for successful array tomography; these steps can be time-consuming and require some practice to perfect. Successful array tomography requires that the captured images be properly stacked and aligned, and the software to achieve these ends is freely available. This protocol describes the construction of volumetric image stacks from images of fluorescently labeled arrays for three-dimensional image visualization, analysis, and archiving.
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ABSTRACT: A key obstacle in uncovering the orchestration between molecular and cellular events is the vastly different length scales on which they occur. We describe here a methodology for ultrastructurally mapping regions of cells and tissue as large as 1 mm(2) at nanometer resolution. Our approach employs standard transmission electron microscopy, rapid automated data collection, and stitching to create large virtual slides. It greatly facilitates correlative light-electron microscopy studies to relate structure and function and provides a genuine representation of ultrastructural events. The method is scalable as illustrated by slides up to 281 gigapixels in size. Here, we applied virtual nanoscopy in a correlative light-electron microscopy study to address the role of the endothelial glycocalyx in protein leakage over the glomerular filtration barrier, in an immunogold labeling study of internalization of oncolytic reovirus in human dendritic cells, in a cryo-electron microscopy study of intact vitrified mouse embryonic cells, and in an ultrastructural mapping of a complete zebrafish embryo slice.The Journal of Cell Biology 08/2012; 198(3):457-69. DOI:10.1083/jcb.201201140 · 9.69 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Following ER Ca(2+) depletion, STIM1 and Orai1 complexes assemble autonomously at ER-plasma membrane (PM) junctions to trigger store-operated Ca(2+) influx. One hypothesis to explain this process is a diffusion trap in which activated STIM1 diffusing in the ER becomes trapped at junctions through interactions with the PM, and STIM1 then traps Orai1 in the PM through binding of its CRAC activation domain. We tested this model by analyzing STIM1 and Orai1 diffusion using single-particle tracking, photoactivation of protein ensembles, and Monte Carlo simulations. In resting cells, STIM1 diffusion is Brownian while Orai1 is slightly subdiffusive. After store depletion both proteins slow to the same speeds, consistent with complex formation, and are confined to a corral similar in size to ER-PM junctions. While the escape probability at high STIM:Orai expression ratios is <1%, it is significantly increased by reducing the affinity of STIM1 for Orai1 or by expressing the two proteins at comparable levels. Our results provide direct evidence that STIM-Orai complexes are trapped by their physical connections across the junctional gap, but also reveal that the complexes are surprisingly dynamic, suggesting that readily reversible binding reactions generate free STIM1 and Orai1 which engage in constant diffusional exchange with extrajunctional pools.Molecular Biology of the Cell 07/2014; 25(22). DOI:10.1091/mbc.E14-06-1107 · 4.55 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The neuroscience research landscape has changed dramatically over the past decade. Specifically, an impressive array of new tools and technologies have been generated, including but not limited to: brain gene expression atlases, genetically encoded proteins to monitor and manipulate neuronal activity, and new methods for imaging and mapping circuits. However, despite these technological advances, several significant challenges must be overcome to enable a better understanding of brain function and to develop cell type-targeted therapeutics to treat brain disorders. This review provides an overview of some of the tools and technologies currently being used to advance the field of molecular neuroanatomy, and also discusses emerging technologies that may enable neuroscientists to address these crucial scientific challenges over the coming decade.Trends in Neurosciences 12/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.tins.2013.11.001 · 12.90 Impact Factor