Quantification of immunohistochemically (IHC) labelled tissue sections typically yields semi-quantitative results. Visualising infrared (IR) 'tags', with an appropriate scanner, provides an alternative system where the linear nature of the IR fluorophore emittance enables realistic quantitative fluorescence IHC (QFIHC). Importantly, this new technology enables entire tissue sections to be scanned, allowing accurate area and protein abundance measurements to be calculated from rapidly acquired images. Here, some of the potential benefits of using IR-based tissue imaging are examined, and the following are demonstrated. Firstly, image capture and analysis using IR-based scanning technology yields comparable area-based quantification to those obtained from a modern high-resolution digital slide scanner. Secondly, IR-based dual target visualisation and expression-based quantification is rapid and simple. Thirdly, IR-based relative protein abundance QIHC measurements are an accurate reflection of tissue sample protein abundance, as demonstrated by comparison with quantitative fluorescent Western blotting data. In summary, it is proposed that IR-based QFIHC provides an alternative method of rapid whole-tissue section low-resolution imaging for the production of reliable and accurate quantitative data.
Keywords: image analysis; infrared fluorescent tags; morphometric analysis; quantitative immunohistochemistry; tissue section imaging.
© 2015 The Authors. Journal of Anatomy published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Anatomical Society.