Content » Vol 74, Issue 3

Investigative Report

Immunoelectron microscopy of skin basement membrane zone antigens: a pre-embedding method using 1-nm immunogold with silver enhancement.

McGrath JA, Ishida-Yamamoto A, Shimizu H, Fine JD, Eady RA
DOI: 10.2340/0001555574197200


There is no single immunoelectron microscopical method for invariably effective localization of both intracellular and extracellular antigens. We describe a simple and practicable immunogold technique that can be used to localize various skin basement membrane zone antigens at the ultrastructural level. Small pieces of skin were incubated with primary antibodies recognizing epitopes on a range of basement membrane zone-related antigens (two different lamina lucida-associated antigens, laminin, type VII collagen, fibrillin and keratin 14). This was followed by incubation with 1-nm colloidal gold-conjugated secondary antibody and subsequent silver intensification. The specimens were then processed for transmission electron microscopy. Precise immunolocalization with good ultrastructural preservation was achieved for all basement membrane zone antibodies tested. The results of basal cell keratin immunostaining showed that this microscopic approach could also be applied to some extent in the characterization of intracellular antigens. This immunoelectron microscopy technique provides a useful approach to the study of macromolecules at the basement membrane zone.


Supplementary content


Not logged in! You need to login/create an account to comment on articles. Click here to login/create an account.