A peroxidase reaction product that can be easily distinguished from standard diaminobenzidine (DAB) reaction products is needed for pre-embedding electron microscopic double-antibody labelling studies. Benzidine dihydrochloride (BDHC) and gold-substituted silver peroxidase reactions are unsatisfactory for double labelling because they lack sensitivity and reliability and/or compromise ultrastructure. We show here that light and electron microscopic immunocytochemistry can be done with a modification of the tungstate-stabilized tetramethylbenzidine (TMB) reaction (Weinberg and Van Eyck 1991) which yields a crystalline reaction product. With this method, we have obtained excellent immunolabelling for a variety of antigens, including tyrosine hydroxylase, enkephalin, serotonin, Fos protein and retrogradely transported cholera toxin B subunit (CTB). The TMB-tungstate reaction is useful for ultrastructural double labelling because the crystals contrast well with the amorphous product of diaminobenzidine reactions. The TMB-tungstate reaction is more sensitive and reliable for immunocytochemistry than the benzidine dihydrochloride reaction and gives better ultrastructure than the gold-substituted silver peroxidase reaction. We also show that neurons filled with biocytin by intracellular injection can be visualized with TMB-tungstate for either light (LM) or electron (EM) microscopy.
- Cholera toxin B subunit
- Fos protein
- Spinal cord
- Sympathetic preganglionic neuron