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J Vis Exp. 2009 Jun 9;(28). pii: 1305. doi: 10.3791/1305.

Imaging exocytosis in retinal bipolar cells with TIRF microscopy.

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  • 1Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Yale University School of Medicine, USA.

Abstract

Total internal reflectance fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy is a technique that allows the study of events happening at the cell membrane, by selective imaging of fluorescent molecules that are closest to a high refractive index substance such as glass. In this article, we apply this technique to image exocytosis of synaptic vesicles in retinal bipolar cells isolated from the goldfish retina. These neurons are very suitable for this kind of study due to their large axon terminals. By simultaneously patch clamping the bipolar cells, it is possible to investigate the relationship between pre-synaptic voltage and synaptic release. Synaptic vesicles inside the bipolar cell terminals are loaded with a fluorescent dye (FM 1-43) by co-puffing the dye and a ringer solution containing a high K(+) concentration onto the synaptic terminals. This depolarizes the cells and stimulates endocytosis and consequent dye uptake into the glutamatergic vesicles. After washing the excess dye away for around 30 minutes, cells are ready for being patch clamped and imaged simultaneously with a 488 nm laser. The patch pipette solution contains a rhodamine-based peptide that binds selectively to the synaptic ribbon protein RIBEYE, thereby labeling ribbons specifically when terminals are imaged with a 561 nm laser. This allows the precise localization of active zones and the separation of synaptic from extra-synaptic events.

PMID:
19513018
PMCID:
PMC2794884
DOI:
10.3791/1305
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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