Confocal microscopy requires the use of fluorophores to visualize structures of interest within a specimen. To perform reliable measurements of the intensity of fluorescence, the stain should be specific, penetrate well into tissue sections, and bind stoichiometrically. Furthermore, emission must be linear with respect to DNA content and brightness, and fluorescence should be stable. Confocal microscopy is used to determine DNA ploidy and to analyze texture of nuclei, which is accomplished in three dimensions, because nuclei can be measured within the original tissue context. For this purpose the sample must be stained with a DNA binding fluorophore with the properties described above. Stains with different properties have been developed for different applications. We review here the advantages and disadvantages of these different stains for analyzing DNA ploidy and nuclear texture using three-dimensional microscopy. We conclude that SYBR green I and TO-PRO-3 are the most suitable stains for this purpose at present.
- Confocal laser scanning microscopy
- DNA ploidy
- Image analysis
- Three dimensional
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology