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See detailThe Evolution of Erythrocytes Becoming Red in Respect to Fluorescence
Hertz, Laura; Ruppenthal, Sandra; Simionato, Greta et al

in FRONTIERS IN PHYSIOLOGY (2019), 10

Very young red blood cells, namely reticulocytes, can be quite easily recognized and labeled by cluster of differentiation antibodies (CD71 transferrin receptor) or by staining remnant RNA with thiazol ... [more ▼]

Very young red blood cells, namely reticulocytes, can be quite easily recognized and labeled by cluster of differentiation antibodies (CD71 transferrin receptor) or by staining remnant RNA with thiazol orange. In contrast, age specific erythrocyte labeling is more difficult in later periods of their life time. While erythrocytes contain band 4.1 protein a molecular clock, so far it has not been possible to read this clock on individual cells. One concept to track erythrocytes during their life time is to mark them when they are young, either directly in vivo or ex vivo followed by a transfusion. Several methods like biotinylation, use of isotopes or fluorescent labeling have proved to be useful experimental approaches but also have several inherent disadvantages. Genetic engineering of mice provides additional options to express fluorescent proteins in erythrocytes. To allow co-staining with popular green fluorescent dyes like Fluo-4 or other fluorescein-based dyes, we bred a mouse line expressing a tandem red fluorescent protein (tdRFP). Within this Brief Research Report, we provide the initial characterisation of this mouse line and show application examples ranging from transfusion experiments and intravital microscopy to multicolour flow cytometry and confocal imaging. We provide a versatile new tool for erythrocyte research and discuss a range of experimental opportunities to study membrane processes and other aspects of erythrocyte development and aging with help of these animals. [less ▲]

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See detailGlutaraldehyde - A Subtle Tool in the Investigation of Healthy and Pathologic Red Blood Cells
Abay, Asena; Simionato, Greta; Chachanidze, Revaz et al

in FRONTIERS IN PHYSIOLOGY (2019), 10

Glutaraldehyde is a well-known substance used in biomedical research to fix cells. Since hemolytic anemias are often associated with red blood cell shape changes deviating from the biconcave disk shape ... [more ▼]

Glutaraldehyde is a well-known substance used in biomedical research to fix cells. Since hemolytic anemias are often associated with red blood cell shape changes deviating from the biconcave disk shape, conservation of these shapes for imaging in general and 3D-imaging in particular like confocal microscopy, scanning electron microscopy or scanning probe microscopy is a common desire. Along with the fixation comes an increase in the stiffness of the cells. In the context of red blood cells this increased rigidity is often used to mimic malaria infected red blood cells because they are also stiffer than healthy red blood cells. However, the use of glutaraldehyde is associated with numerous pitfalls: (i) while the increase in rigidity by an application of increasing concentrations of glutaraldehyde is an analog process, the fixation is a rather digital event (all or none); (ii) addition of glutaraldehyde massively changes osmolality in a concentration dependent manner and hence cell shapes can be distorted; (iii) glutaraldehyde batches differ in their properties especially in the ratio of monomers and polymers (iv) handling pitfalls, like inducing shear artifacts of red blood cell shapes or cell density changes that needs to be considered, e.g., when working with cells in flow; (v) staining glutaraldehyde treated red blood cells need different approaches compared to living cells, for instance, because glutaraldehyde itself induces a strong fluorescence. Within this paper we provide documentation about the subtle use of glutaraldehyde on healthy and pathologic red blood cells and how to deal with or circumvent pitfalls. [less ▲]

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