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Retinal Cryo-sections, Whole-Mounts, and Hypotonic Isolated Vasculature Preparations for Immunohistochemical Visualization of Microvascular Pericytes

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Retinal pericytes play an important role in many diseases of the eye. Immunohistochemical staining techniques of retinal vessels and microvascular pericytes are central to ophthalmological research. It is vital to choose an appropriate method of visualizing the microvascular pericytes. We describe retinal microvascular pericyte immunohistochemical staining in cryo-sections, whole-mounts, and hypotonic isolated vasculature using antibodies for platelet-derived growth factor receptor β (PDGFRβ) and nerve/glial antigen 2 (NG2). This allows us to highlight advantages and shortcomings of each of the three tissue preparations for the visualization of the retinal microvascular pericytes. Cryo-sections provide transsectional visualization of all retinal layers but contain only a few occasional transverse cuts of the microvasculature. Whole-mount provides an overview of the entire retinal vasculature, but visualization of the microvasculature can be troublesome. Hypotonic isolation provides a method to visualize the entire retinal vasculature by the removal of neuronal cells, but this makes the tissue very fragile.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of visualized experiments : JoVE
Issue number140
Pages (from-to)e57733
Number of pages6
ISSN1940-087X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

ID: 55617472