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J Histochem Cytochem. 1991 Oct;39(10):1395-401.

Immunogold electron microscopy of soluble proteins: localization of Bet v I major allergen in ultra-thin sections of birch pollen after anhydrous fixation techniques.

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Institute of Medical Physics, M√ľnster University, Germany.


To localize the highly water-soluble major allergen Bet v I in ultra-thin sections of birch pollen, pollen grains were cracked, air-dried, and processed for electron microscopy using one of the following preparation techniques: fixation in aqueous p-formaldehyde + cetylpyridinium chloride; fixation in p-formaldehyde vapor; fixation in benzoquinone vapor; inert dehydration; or no fixation. Afterwards the pollen grains were embedded in Lowicryl K4M resin at low temperature. Ultra-thin sections were cut and incubated with a monoclonal antibody against Bet v I, followed by a gold-labeled secondary antibody. In some experiments, commercial rabbit IgG antibodies against birth pollen allergens were also used, followed by incubation with the protein A-gold complex. Bet v I could be localized only after vapor fixation and in the inert dehydrated specimens. Best preservation of ultrastructure and antigenicity was obtained after p-formaldehyde vapor fixation. Bet v I antibody binding sites were detected only in the cytoplasmic matrix of the pollen grain, never in the pollen wall. Commercial rabbit antibodies bound to cytoplasm and wall of all prepared specimens, even after aqueous fixation. This might be explained by the assumption that these antibodies recognize a variety of antigenic and allergenic structures, not all of which are so highly soluble as Bet v I.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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