Laser microdissection allows isolation of tiny samples from tissue sections for analysis of gene expression by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Although immunohistochemical labeling is often required to identify target structures, it drastically degrades mRNA so that shortened protocols are needed. Here, we present a novel method that allows fluorescence double labeling to be performed in only one incubation of 5 minutes. Fab fragments directly coupled to fluorochromes are linked to primary antibodies before these complexes are applied to sections. We quantified the influences of fixatives, labeling solutions, and incubation time on the mRNA yield and compared our method with previously proposed protocols. While tissue components, ie, vimentin and Ki67 antigen, were sufficiently stained after only 5 minutes of incubation, the new method produced a minute loss of mRNA that did not significantly differ from that of untreated sections. In contrast, incubation times of 15 and 30 minutes reduced the mRNA yield by 99.8 to 99.9%. Furthermore, incubation periods longer than 5 minutes critically affected the ratio between the target and housekeeping genes tested by factors of up to 10.6. In conclusion, the novel method described here reduces mRNA loss and potential ratio shifts to a level that does not significantly differ from that of unlabeled samples.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)