Multiple correlative immunolabeling for light and electron microscopy using fluorophores and colloidal metal particles

Irawati K. Kandela, Reiner Bleher, Ralph M. Albrecht*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Multiple correlative immunolabeling permits colocalization of molecular species for sequential observation of the same sample in light microscoopy (LM) and electron microscopy (EM). This technique allows rapid evaluation of labeling via LM, prior to subsequent time-consuming preparation and observation with transmission electric miscroscopy (TEM). The procedure also yields two different complementary data sets. In LM, different fluorophores are distinguished by their respective excitation and emission wavelengths. In EM, colloidal metal nanoparticles of different elemental composition can be differentiated and mapped by energy-filtering transmission electron microscopy with electron spectroscopic imaging. For the highest level of spatial resolution in TEM, colloidal metal particles were conjugated directly to primary antibodies. For LM, fluorophores were conjugated to secondary antibodies, which did not affect the spatial resolution attainable by fluorescence microscopy but placed the fluorophore at a sufficient distance from the metal particle to limit quenching of the fluorescence signal. It also effectively kept the fluorophore at a sufficient distance from the colloidal metal particles, which resulted in limiting quenching of the fluorescent signal. Two well-defined model systems consisting of myosin and α-actinin bands of skeletal muscle tissue and also actin and α-actinin of human platelets in ultrathin Epon sections were labeled using both fluorophores (Cy2 and Cy3) as markers for LM and equally sized colloidal gold (cAu) and colloidal palladium (cPd) particles as reporters for TEM. Each sample was labeled by a mixture of conjugates or labels and observed by LM, then further processed for TEM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)983-990
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2007


  • Colloidal gold nanoparticles
  • Colloidal metal nanoparticles
  • Colloidal palladium nanoparticles
  • Correlative immunolabeling
  • Fluorophores

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology


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