Enhanced resolution of specific chromosome and nuclear regions by reflectance laser scanning confocal microscopy

Luca M. Neri, Caterina Cinti, Spartaco Santi, Marco Marchisio, Silvano Capitani, Nadir M. Maraldi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


DNA sequences digested by HaeIII and reconstructed by in situ nick translation employing digoxigenin-labelled nucleotides are usually revealed either by horseradish peroxidase or FITC fluorescence. To obtain a significant improvement in terms of resolution, sensitivity and specificity, colloidal gold has been used instead of FITC (as the reporter molecule) to reveal the labelled DNA. Colloidal gold and propidium iodide were visualised by employing the reflectance mode and the 488-nm laser line of a confocal laser scanning microscope. In chromosomes, the fluorescent reaction pattern showed diffuse areas of labelling in which it was impossible to identify any specific kind of banding along the arms. In some chromosomes and, in particular, 1 and 9, a C-negative banding due to the negativity of the centromeric areas was seen. A more accurate localisation on chromosomes, including telomeric regions, often organised in spot pairs that resembled an R-like banding, was detected using 1-nm colloidal gold. A fine labelling was also demonstrated in nuclei, especially at their peripheral heterochromatin. The non-fading properties of colloidal gold combined with visualisation by reflectance confocal laser scanning microscopy demonstrated the possibility of obtaining a higher spatial resolution than when using conventional fluorophores or higher laser wavelength. This improved way to study the localization of HaeIII digestion sites in single chromosomes and in interphase nuclei made the reaction a valuable tool for the detection of antigens or of specific DNA sequences in biological preparations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-104
Number of pages8
JournalHistochemistry and Cell Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Instrumentation


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