A simple and reliable method for correlative light and electron microscopic studies

J Histochem Cytochem. 1993 May;41(5):769-72. doi: 10.1177/41.5.8468459.


We describe in detail a simple method for flat-embedding that can be subsequently used in correlative light and electron microscopic studies. The method can be applied to any material suitable for electron microscopy and is especially useful for study of the synaptology and ultrastructural characteristics of immunocytochemically or morphologically identified neurons or their processes. We present here an example to show how accurately one can delineate the fine details of a complex axonal arborization impregnated with the Golgi method in the mouse cerebral cortex. Golgi-impregnated sections to be studied at the electron microscopic level are osmicated, dehydrated, infiltrated with Araldite resin, flat-embedded, and identified cells or processes photographed. Serial semi-thin sections (1-2 microns thick) are then cut with an ultramicrotome, examined with the light microscope, and the elements rephotographed. Selected semi-thin sections are then resectioned on the ultramicrotome at 60-70 nm and examined electron microscopically. This method allows the systematic and accurate localization of stained cells and processes throughout the successive steps of the procedure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cerebral Cortex / ultrastructure*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Microtomy
  • Tissue Embedding / methods*