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Protocols for staining of bile canalicular and sinusoidal networks of human, mouse and pig livers, three-dimensional reconstruction and quantification of tissue microarchitecture by image processing and analysis.

Abstract : Histological alterations often constitute a fingerprint of toxicity and diseases. The extent to which these alterations are cause or consequence of compromised organ function, and the underlying mechanisms involved is a matter of intensive research. In particular, liver disease is often associated with altered tissue microarchitecture, which in turn may compromise perfusion and functionality. Research in this field requires the development and orchestration of new techniques into standardized processing pipelines that can be used to reproducibly quantify tissue architecture. Major bottlenecks include the lack of robust staining, and adequate reconstruction and quantification techniques. To bridge this gap, we established protocols employing specific antibody combinations for immunostaining, confocal imaging, three-dimensional reconstruction of approximately 100-μm-thick tissue blocks and quantification of key architectural features. We describe a standard procedure termed 'liver architectural staining' for the simultaneous visualization of bile canaliculi, sinusoidal endothelial cells, glutamine synthetase (GS) for the identification of central veins, and DAPI as a nuclear marker. Additionally, we present a second standard procedure entitled 'S-phase staining', where S-phase-positive and S-phase-negative nuclei (stained with BrdU and DAPI, respectively), sinusoidal endothelial cells and GS are stained. The techniques include three-dimensional reconstruction of the sinusoidal and bile canalicular networks from the same tissue block, and robust capture of position, size and shape of individual hepatocytes, as well as entire lobules from the same tissue specimen. In addition to the protocols, we have also established image analysis software that allows relational and hierarchical quantifications of different liver substructures (e.g. cells and vascular branches) and events (e.g. cell proliferation and death). Typical results acquired for routinely quantified parameters in adult mice (C57Bl6/N) include the hepatocyte volume (5,128.3 ± 837.8 μm(3)) and the fraction of the hepatocyte surface in contact with the neighbouring hepatocytes (67.4 ± 6.7 %), sinusoids (22.1 ± 4.8 %) and bile canaliculi (9.9 ± 3.8 %). Parameters of the sinusoidal network that we also routinely quantify include the radius of the sinusoids (4.8 ± 2.25 μm), the branching angle (32.5 ± 11.2°), the length of intersection branches (23.93 ± 5.9 μm), the number of intersection nodes per mm(3) (120.3 × 103 ± 42.1 × 10(3)), the average length of sinusoidal vessel per mm(3) (5.4 × 10(3) ± 1.4 × 10(3)mm) and the percentage of vessel volume in relation to the whole liver volume (15.3 ± 3.9) (mean ± standard deviation). Moreover, the provided parameters of the bile canalicular network are: length of the first-order branches (7.5 ± 0.6 μm), length of the second-order branches (10.9 ± 1.8 μm), length of the dead-end branches (5.9 ± 0.7 μm), the number of intersection nodes per mm(3) (819.1 × 10(3) ± 180.7 × 10(3)), the number of dead-end branches per mm(3) (409.9 × 10(3) ± 95.6 × 10(3)), the length of the bile canalicular network per mm(3) (9.4 × 10(3) ± 0.7 × 10(3) mm) and the percentage of the bile canalicular volume with respect to the total liver volume (3.4 ± 0.005). A particular strength of our technique is that quantitative parameters of hepatocytes and bile canalicular as well as sinusoidal networks can be extracted from the same tissue block. Reconstructions and quantifications performed as described in the current protocols can be used for quantitative mathematical modelling of the underlying mechanisms. Furthermore, protocols are presented for both human and pig livers. The technique is also applicable for both vibratome blocks and conventional paraffin slices.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, January 28, 2015 - 3:55:44 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, January 11, 2022 - 11:16:26 AM

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Seddik Hammad, Stefan Hoehme, Adrian Friebel, Iris von Recklinghausen, Amnah Othman, et al.. Protocols for staining of bile canalicular and sinusoidal networks of human, mouse and pig livers, three-dimensional reconstruction and quantification of tissue microarchitecture by image processing and analysis.. Archives of Toxicology, Springer Verlag, 2014, 88 (5), pp.1161-1183. ⟨10.1007/s00204-014-1243-5⟩. ⟨hal-01110657⟩



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