Send to

Choose Destination
Cell Stem Cell. 2019 Dec 5;25(6):846-854.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2019.10.003.

A 3D Tissue-wide Digital Imaging Pipeline for Quantitation of Secreted Molecules Shows Absence of CXCL12 Gradients in Bone Marrow.

Author information

Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering, ETH Zürich, 4058 Basel, Switzerland.
Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering, ETH Zürich, 4058 Basel, Switzerland. Electronic address:


Technological limitations have hampered understanding of how individual molecules, including putative stem cell regulators, are distributed throughout tissues and stem cell niches. Here, we report adaptation of the proximity ligation assay (PLA) for large-volume, in situ imaging of individual proteins with multiple additional fluorescent channels with integrated 3D quantification strategies and software. Using this platform, we quantified the bone marrow (BM) distribution of individual CXCL12 chemokine proteins, both before and after their depletion by granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) treatment. We found ubiquitous CXCL12 distributions with local enrichments but no long-range gradients, in contrast to current assumptions about how CXCL12 controls migration of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) within BM. This pipeline for discrete digital quantitative, large-volume, multicolor imaging, with up to single-molecule sensitivity, may be broadly applied to any antibody epitope and tissue, enabling further insights into molecular organization of tissues and cellular interactions.


G-CSF; HSPC; PLA; SDF1; bone marrow; chemokine; fluorescence microscopy; gradient; mobilization; secreted protein


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center