Projection through merged optical section series of a filled astrocyte (green) in the molecular layer of the dentate gyrus of a 1 month-old rat, stained for NCAM (red), showing the relationship between astrocyte processes and laminar boundaries revealed by NCAM staining. Optical sections were generated with a single photon confocal microscope. Original data contributed to Bushong EA, Martone ME, Ellisman MH. Examination of the relationship between astrocyte morphology and laminar boundaries in the molecular layer of adult dentate gyrus. J Comp Neurol. 2003 Jul 21;462(2):241-51. PMID: 12794746. This image has been downsampled from the raw data image which can be accessed using the link provided to the Cell Centered Database.
Intracellular injection of astrocytes in lightly fixed tissue slices was performed as previously described, with some modifications (Buhl et al., , PMID: 2262598). The brain was placed in ice-cold PBS and cut into coronal slices with a vibratome at a thickness of 100 µm, and stored in PBS at 4°C until used. The slices were placed under a 60x water objective (NA 1.4) and observed with an Olympus BX50WI microscope using infrared-DIC optics (Olympus, Melville, NY). Astrocytes in the upper blade of the dentate gyrus were identified by the shape and size of their somata. Glass micropipettes (OD 1.00 mm, ID 0.58 mm; resistances 100-400 M) were pulled on a vertical puller (David Kopf Instruments, Tujunga, CA) and backfilled with Alexa 568. Astrocytes were impaled and iontophoretically injected with dye using 1-second pulses of negative current (0.5 Hz) for 1-2 minutes. After several cells were filled, the slices were placed in ice-cold 4% PFA for at least 1 hour. The slices were then ready to be immunolabeled. The rat anti-N-CAM monoclonal antibody (isoclone 12F11) was obtained from BD PharMingen (San Diego, CA), and detected using Alexa 488. Slices were coverslipped using Gelvatol (Harlow and Lane, ) and allowed to set overnight at room temperature before they were examined. Image acquisition and analysis: Specimens were examined using a Radiance2000 laser scanning confocal system (Bio-Rad, Hercules, CA) attached to a Nikon E600FN microscope (Kanagawa, Japan). A 60x oil immersion (NA 1.4) objective was used to image LY-filled astrocytes.
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