Image of the Month 2013

December - Two-photon calcium imaging in the rat visual cortex

Two-photon calcium imaging in the rat visual cortex

Image by Anastasia Sizemova - Vision and Cognition Laboratory (Head: Sam Solomon), School of Medical Sciences & Bosch Institute, The University of Sydney

Cells approximately 190 microns underneath the surface of the brain were bulk-loaded with fluorescent calcium indicator Oregon Green Bapta (OGB) in-vivo. The red spots in this image are astrocytic and neuronal cell bodies loaded with OGB. The black wholes are cerebral blood vessels running parallel to the surface of the cortex. The region was imaged using two-photon microscope using 620-660 nm filter.


November - Alzheimer Plaques Localising With Cerebral Microvessel Branching Points

Alzheimer Plaques Localising With Cerebral Microvessel Branching Points

Image by Glib Popov - Cullen Laboratory (Head: Karen Cullen), Department of Anatomy and Histology, Bosch Institute, The University of Sydney

This image shows clearly the colocalisation of cerebral blood vessel branching points and beta-amyloid-containing neuritic plaques. We hypothesize that turbulent blood flow and shear stress at these locations contributes to microbleeds, which in turn precede plaque formation. Collagen-IV (magenta), beta-amyloid (green), tau (red). 200-microm thick frozen section, human hippocampus, mild Alzheimer's Disease.


October - Apical Junctional Complex Between Uterine Epithelial Cells

Apical Junctional Complex Between Uterine Epithelial Cells

Image by Samson Dowland - Cell and Reproductive Biology Laboratory (Head: Chris Murphy), Department of Anatomy and Histology, Bosch Institute, The University of Sydney

Transmission electron micrograph of two adjacent uterine epithelial cells. The tissue has been treated with potassium ferricyanide and osmium tetroxide before being post-stained with concentrated uranyl acetate and lead citrate for an extended period of time. This process enhances the contrast of the plasma membrane, the junctions between the cells and the glycocalyx. This image depicts the apical junctional complex, which is comprised of the tight junction (TJ), adherens junction (AJ) and a desmosome (D). Microvilli (MV) are visible on the apical cell surface, along with their glycocalyx coat (arrowheads). 25,000x.


September - Localisation of SENEX to microtubules

Localisation of SENEX to microtubules

Image by Michael Lovelace (Postdoctoral Fellow), Vascular Biology Laboratory (Supervisor-Professor Jenny Gamble), Centenary Institute

This Leica GSD super-resolution (1600x magnification) reconstructed image of a portion of the fringe of a cultured Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cell (HUVEC) highlights the association of a significant proportion of SENEX protein (green) to microtubule (-tubulin) filaments (red). SENEX is a protein with known roles in endothelial cytoskeletal re-arrangements and vascular permeability, and may utilize microtubules as a highway for transport to the periphery of the cell in response to receiving a stimulus. This is the first reported use of super-resolution microscope technology for localization of these small proteins to intracellular structures.


August - Bone & cartilage staining of the pelvic fins of a zebrafish

Bone & cartilage staining of a zebrafish

Image by Emily Don - Laboratory of Development and Disease Models in Zebrafish (Head: Nicholas Cole), Department of Anatomy and Histology, Bosch Institute, The University of Sydney

Brightfield image of bone & cartilage staining of the pelvic fins of a zebrafish. Using this stain, the ossified bone of the pelvic fin endoskeleton is seen in red, while the cartilage of the lepidotrichs stains blue. The musculature of the pelvic fins can also be seen.


July - BrdU incorporated cell in adult mouse lens epithelium

BrdU incorporated cell in adult mouse lens epithelium

Image by Yuki Sugiyama - Eye lens laboratory, supervisors were John McAvoy (Discipline of Clinical Ophthalmolgy) and Frank Lovicu (Discipline of Anatomy and Histology), The University of Sydney

BrdU is a chemical compound that is an analogue of thymidine and is incorporated into DNA during cell proliferation. This image shows a BrdU-positive cell in adult mouse lens epithelium. The lens grows throughout life by proliferation and differentiation of lens epithelial cells.

Even in adults there is a population of cells that maintain proliferative ability. This suggests the existence of cells with a stem cell-like character in the lens. This adult lens epithelium was immunostained with anti-BrdU (white), b-catenin (green), nuclear lamin (red) and Hoechst (blue). Four-colour confocal images were obtained by Zeiss LSM700.


June - Mutant elastin hydrogel

Mutant elastin hydrogel

Image by Giselle Yeo - Weiss Lab, School of Molecular Bioscience, The University of Sydney

A hydrogel formed from the chemical cross-linking of recombinant human tropoelastin with a mutation at the arginine 515 residue. Scanning electron microscopy of the hydrogel surface shows an abundance of globules consistent with the partially cross-linked elastin.

This morphology contrasts with the porous sheet-like structure of wild-type elastin hydrogels, and indicates the impaired ability of the mutant tropoelastin species for cross-linking.


May - Anatomy of a juvenile Sea Urchin

The anatomy of a juvenile Sea Urchin

Image by Shawna Foo - PhD Student; Byrne Lab, (Supervisor: Prof. Maria Byrne); Discipline of Anatomy & Histology, The University of Sydney

This is a transmitted light micrograph of a recently metamorphosed juvenile sea urchin showing the complicated calcareous structures that support the arms and body.


April - Branching mammary epithelial cells

Branching mammary epithelial cells

Image by Thomas Owens - Postdoctoral Research Associate; Developmental and Cancer Biology Group (Lab head: Matthew Naylor); Discipline of Physiology, The University of Sydney

Mammary epithelial cells cultured in 3D matrix to form ductal structures. The cells remodel the matrix surrounding them as the structures form. Cells were stably expressing GFP (green), immunostained E-Cadherin (Red) and co-stained with Hoechst 33342 (Blue).

Image captured on Ultraview spinning-disc confocal microscope (Perkin Elmer).


March - Collagen in the airways

Collagen in the airways

Image by Gavin Tjin PhD Candidate - Cell Biology Lab, (Supervisor: Prof. Judy Black); Sydney Medical School, Woolcock Institute of Medical Research.

A section of human airway from a patient without respiratory disease. Second order harmonics were used to visualize fibrillar collagen.

Organised (green) and disorganized (red) collagen and in blue is the autofluorescence/multi-photon excitation fluorescence showing basic tissue structure.

Collagen is present in the extracellular matrix (ECM) throughout the tissue acting as structural support and it has been acknowledged that the ECM is also a bioactive component that can contribute to disease pathology. Image was taken with the Leica Multi-Photon SP5 microscope at 63x magnification.

Final image is stitched from 3 x 3 tiled images.


February - Visualising myofibres within a leg muscle

myofibres within a leg muscle

Image by Lowenna Holt - Senior Postdoc, Diabetes and Metabolism Laboratory (Labhead: A/Prof. Gregory Cooney), Metabolic Diseases, Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Mouse Tibialis anterior hindlimb muscle, sectioned through the midbelly region. All muscle fibres within the muscle are delineated by dystrophin stain (green outline). Different types of fibre within the muscle are visualised by fill colour - 2B fibres (red), 2A fibres (green), 2X fibres (no colour).

Muscles are composed of a heterogenous mix of fibre types which are 'fast-twitch' or 'slow-twitch', optimally arranged for speed or endurance, respectively.

Image acquired with a Zeiss Axiovert 200M widefield fluorescence microscope.


January - Flashpoint of dementia - a microaneurysm in the aging, demented brain

Dementia causing build up at the site of a burst capillary

Image by Sivaraman Purushothuman PhD Student, Retinal & Cerebral Neurobiology Lab (Labhead: Prof. Jonathan Stone), Department of Physiology, Bosch Institute, The University of Sydney

The insidious dementias of ageing (Alzheimer’s disease) are believed to be caused by a breakdown of the capillaries of the brain. This image shows the accumulation of the peptide Aβ in the walls of a small-vessel aneurysm, in the neocortex of an aged Alzheimer sufferer. The red label shows surrounding astrocytes, with some abnormal formations. Nuclei are labelled blue.

Image taken at 63x with the Axioplan2 Deconvolution Microscope.