A method is presented whereby the staining of intracellular structures with immunogold probes for electron microscopy can be evaluated at the light microscopic level. Methanol-fixed monolayers of cultured Dunning R-3327-H rat prostatic adenocarcinoma cells were stained for cytokeratins using a two-step immunogold technique consisting of primary anti-keratin antibody followed by gold-labeled secondary antibody. Bound immunogold probe was then visualized with a fluorescent tertiary and anti-immunogold probe antibody. Fluorescence microscopy of the whole cell monolayers showed a typical keratin cytoskeleton. The extra staining step did not interfere with subsequent fixation, embedding, and sectioning for electron microscopy, which showed cytoplasmic intermediate filaments decorated with colloidal gold. Using this method, it should be possible to manipulate parameters critical to staining with immunogold probes and to evaluate the labeling without necessitating repeated time-consuming electron microscopic processing. The method also provides a useful correlation between the light microscopic and ultrastructural labeling patterns of immunogold probes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas