Title

Whole-mount Confocal Microscopy for Adult Ear Skin: A Model System to Study Neuro-vascular Branching Morphogenesis and Immune Cell Distribution.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-29-2018

Keywords

Animals; Cell Differentiation; Ear; Humans; Immunohistochemistry; Mice; Microscopy, Confocal; Morphogenesis; Skin

Abstract

Here, we present a protocol of a whole-mount adult ear skin imaging technique to study comprehensive three-dimensional neuro-vascular branching morphogenesis and patterning, as well as immune cell distribution at a cellular level. The analysis of peripheral nerve and blood vessel anatomical structures in adult tissues provides some insights into the understanding of functional neuro-vascular wiring and neuro-vascular degeneration in pathological conditions such as wound healing. As a highly informative model system, we have focused our studies on adult ear skin, which is readily accessible for dissection. Our simple and reproducible protocol provides an accurate depiction of the cellular components in the entire skin, such as peripheral nerves (sensory axons, sympathetic axons, and Schwann cells), blood vessels (endothelial cells and vascular smooth muscle cells), and inflammatory cells. We believe this protocol will pave the way to investigate morphological abnormalities in peripheral nerves and blood vessels as well as the inflammation in the adult ear skin under different pathological conditions.

Clinical Institute

Neurosciences (Brain & Spine)

Clinical Institute

Cardiovascular (Heart)

Department

Neurosciences

Department

Cardiology

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