Correlative light and immuno-electron microscopy of retinal tissue cryostat sections

PLoS One. 2018 Jan 9;13(1):e0191048. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0191048. eCollection 2018.


Correlative light-electron microscopy (CLEM) is a powerful technique allowing localisation of specific macromolecules within fluorescence microscopy (FM) images to be mapped onto corresponding high-resolution electron microscopy (EM) images. Existing methods are applicable to limited sample types and are technically challenging. Here we describe novel methods to perform CLEM and immuno-electron microscopy (iEM) on cryostat sections utilising the popular FM embedding solution, optimal cutting temperature (OCT) compound. Utilising these approaches, we have (i) identified the same phagosomes by FM and EM in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) of retinal tissue (ii) shown the correct localisation of rhodopsin on photoreceptor outer segment disc like-structures in iPSC derived optic cups and (iii) identified a novel interaction between peroxisomes and melanosomes as well as phagosomes in the RPE. These data show that cryostat sections allow easy characterisation of target macromolecule localisation within tissue samples, thus providing a substantial improvement over many conventional methods that are limited to cultured cells. As OCT embedding is routinely used for FM this provides an easily accessible and robust method for further analysis of existing samples by high resolution EM.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Light*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microscopy, Immunoelectron / methods*
  • Retina / cytology
  • Retina / ultrastructure*
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence