European journal of histochemistry : EJH

An improved and cost-effective methodology for the reduction of autofluorescence in direct immunofluorescence studies on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues.

PMID 17548270


Interference by autofluorescence is one of the major shortcomes of immunofluorescence analysis by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). CLSM requires minimal tissue autofluorescence and reduced unspecific fluorescence background, requisites that become more critical when direct immunofluorescence studies are concerned. To control autofluorescence, different reagents and treatments can be used. Until now, the efficacy of the processes described depended on the tissue type and on the processing technique, no general recipe for the control of autofluorescence being available. Using paraffin sections of archival formalin-fixed murine liver, kidney and pancreas, we have found that previously described techniques were not able to reduce autofluorescence to levels that allowed direct immunofluorescence labelling. In this work, we aimed at improving currently described methodologies so that they would allow reduction of the autofluorescent background without affecting tissue integrity or direct immunofluorescence labelling. We have found that the combination of short-duration, high-intensity UV irradiation and Sudan Black B was the best approach to reduce autofluorescence in highly vascularised, high lipofuscins' content tissues, such as murine liver and kidney, and poorly vascularised, low lipofuscins' content tissues such as the pancreas. In addition, we herein show that this methodology is highly effective in reducing autofluorescent background to levels that allow detection of specific signals by direct immunofluorescence.

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