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Tuesday 01 July 2003

Multi-photon microscopy of cell types in the viable taste disk of the frog.

By: Li JH, Lindemann B.

Cell Tissue Res 2003 Jul;313(1):11-27

The morphology of viable taste disks of the frog was explored with multi-photon microscopy. In order to identify single sensory or supporting cells within the tissue, we searched for fluorescent dyes that stained subsets of the cell population or possibly cell types. Some cell types indeed stained preferentially with certain fluorescent dyes. A subset of glia-like cells (type Ic) stained with BCECF, a H+-sensitive dye, and indo-1, a Ca2+-sensitive dye, both presented in the membrane-permeant ester form. BCECF-ester also stained the dendrites of type III receptor cells, but indo-1 ester did not. Receptor cells of type II stained with MQAE, a positively charged Cl- -sensitive dye. A subset of type II cells accumulated amiloride, a positively charged fluorescent diuretic. Certain supporting cells, i.e., wing cells (type Ib) and glia-like cells (type Ic), were labeled by negatively charged dyes, e.g., calcium green-1 dextran. Mucus cells (type Ia) were stained with only two of the 19 dyes examined, and Merkel-like basal cells (type IV) were stained only with a membrane-labeling voltage-sensitive dye, presumably by endocytosis. No dye was found which would stain all types of cells or all receptor cells. This finding reveals a potential problem for future functional imaging aiming at population responses, as the responses of unstained cells then would remain unobserved. Specificity of dyes with respect to cell types was sufficient to identify supporting cells and receptor cells. Cell shape could then be reconstructed, using optical slicing and rendering techniques. Thus populations of dye-loaded elongated cells, especially types Ic, II and III, could for the first time be visualized in three dimensions.

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