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Astrocytes play an essential role in the normal functioning of the nervous system and are active contributors to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). Therefore, to comprehend the astrocytes and amyloid plaques relationship there is a need for imaging techniques providing simultaneous visualization of astrocytes using fluorescence and amyloid plaques revealed by transmitted light microscopy. The possibility of simultaneous detection of astrocytes by immunocytochemistry (fluorescent) and amyloid plaques by cytochemical Alcian Blue (transparent) using confocal microscopy in 8-month-old 5хFAD mice samples shown. The described method supposes performing astrocytes fluorescent labelling by GFAP or S100beta and amyloid plaques staining by Alcian Blue. Proposed approach circumvents some limitations of fluorescence microscopy, such as weak fluorescence, low contrast, fluorophore broad excitation/emission profile and chemical instability. The proposed technique provides high-quality resulting images of GFAP/s100beta- labelled astrocytes and Alcian Blue-stained amyloid plaques. These images are appliable for prospective qualitative and quantitative three-dimensional analysis due to the z-axis scanning. Moreover, it demonstrated the formation of stable Alcian Blue staining. Copyright © 2023. Published by Elsevier B.V.


Olga Nosova, Valeriia Guselnikova, Dmitry Korzhevskii. The application of alcian blue to identify astrocyte-associated amyloid plaques by using fluorescence and confocal microscopy. Journal of neuroscience methods. 2023 Mar 01;387:109797

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PMID: 36682730

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