Image of the Month 2018

December - 3D Model of Erythroblastic Islands

Image of the month

Image by Jia Hao Yeo, Anatomy & Histology

3D modelling on Serial Block Face Scanning Electron Microscopy (SBF-SEM) images of erythroblastic islands (EBIs). 3D modelling is shown on the left, and the original electron micrograph is displayed on the right. Erythroblastic islands are multicellular clusters found within the bone marrow for red blood cell development. They consist of a central macrophage (cyan) surrounded by red blood cell progenitors (in various colours). The nucleus is labelled blue and the mitochondria of the erythroid cells are shown in brown. The dark blue inclusions in macrophage are engulfed nuclear inclusions expelled by developing erythroid cells.

November - Proteins on the Highway

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Image by Michael Lovelace and Paul Coleman, Centenary Institute

SENEX protein (green) is broadly localized within blood vessel endothelial cells (ECs), including to microtubules (red), one of the major cell highways. SENEX may use microtubules to move inside cells, and helps stabilise cell-cell junctions and migration, which are critical aspects of EC function.

This is the first time cutting-edge confocal microscopy using sensitive hybrid detectors imaged this protein. This impetus subsequently caused use of super-resolution microscopy and functional assays to confirm SENEX localises to, and stabilises EC microtubules, and has a likely protective role. Other conventional microscopy techniques are unable to capture detailed images of this 80-160 nanometre-sized protein.

October - Backscatter Scanning Electron Micrograph of the Murine Hepatic Microarchitecture

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Image by Gerry Shami, Anatomy & Histology

This image gives an overview of the key features of the hepatic microarchitecture including: hepatic parenchymal cells, the hepatic sinusoids (white spaces) formed by fenestrated liver sinusoidal endothelial cells, the bile canaliculi formed by the opposing faces of adjacent hepatic parenchymal cells and liver-specific immune cells, including pit cells and Kupffer cells.

September - Carbon Quantum Dots Labelled MCF-7 cell

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Image by Sara Madadi Ardekani, School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Carbon Quantum Dots (CQD) were synthesised with citric acid, urea and PEG. The size of the CQDs was measured to be 7 to 10 nm using two-photon excitation. The image shows a MCF-7 breast cancer cell labelled with synthesised CQDs and DAPI (nuclear stain). Non-bleaching CQDs allow cell imaging over long periods of time. CQDs and DAPI were excited with two-photon laser excitation at 780 nm and 740 nm respectively and the emissions were separated using the microscope PMTs (Leica SP5) to avoid any bleed-through.

August - A Live Human Lung Epithelial BEAS-2B cell reluctantly ‘Swimming’ away

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Image by Sally Yunsun Kim, Pharmacy

A snapshot of a live BEAS-2B lung epithelial cell with the filopodia stretched away, demonstrating cell motility. The cell appears to be reluctantly moving away from the crowd of other cells to find a better place to stay along the other side of the culture dish. The phase contrast image was taken with an air 60x Nikon objective and three-dimensional digital staining of the actin filaments, organelles and other structures were conducted using the Steve software of Nanolive 3D cell explorer.

July - Astrocytes in the Human Retinal Vascular Bed

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Image by Mohammad Nasir Uddin, Anatomy & Histology

This image shows astrocytes forming a honeycomb-like network in human retina. Astrocytes envelop the retinal blood vessels and play a role in metabolic support. The astrocytic process was labelled with antibody to GFAP (red) whereas astrocytic soma and retinal blood vessels were labelled with antibody to s100β (blue) and UEA Lectin I (green) respectively.

June - Block-Face SEM: 3-D Reconstruction of Hepatocytes & the Bile Canaliculi

Image of the month

Image by Gerry Shami, Anatomy & Histology

This micrograph was acquired by means of serial block-face scanning electron microscopy (SEM) comprising 610 sequential images. The hepatic parenchymal cells (blue, binucleate; gold, mononucleate) and the bile canaliculi (green) were generated by means of manual segmentation; a highly labour intensive process taking three months to complete for a single model. The bile canaliculi represent the smallest branch of the biliary tree, formed by the opposing plasma membranes of adjacent hepatic parenchymal cells. These fine channels measure between 0.5 to 1.0 µm in diameter and transport bile – an exocrine secretion of hepatic parenchymal cells – to the gall bladder via ductules of increasing diameter.

May - The Heterogeneity of Astrocytes from the Early Postnatal Mouse Brain

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Image by Thomas Duncan, Brain and Mind Centre

Immunocytochemical staining of a primary culture of astrocytes isolated from postnatal mouse cerebral cortices. This glial cell type is highly heterogeneous in morphology and in the expression of classic astrocyte marker - glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP; red).

Class III beta-tubulin (green), traditionally regarded as a neuronal protein, is also now known to be expressed in some immature astrocytes. Cell nuclei were stained using DAPI (blue).

April - Varicella Zoster Virus and the Philosopher's Stone

Image of the month

Image by Chelsea Gerada, Charles Perkins Centre

A varicella zoster virus protein (green) interacting with the mitochondria (red) upon the induction of cell death in a keratinocyte cell line (nucleus staining in blue).

This protein acts as a "philosopher's stone" allowing the cell to withstand cell death stimuli in order to ensure viral replication and spread.

Images were taken in Zeiss LSM 510 Meta Confocal microscope.

March - Rat Retina Exposed to Iron Oxide Nanoparticles

Image of the month

Image by Rosita Pang, Anatomy & Histology

Ultrasmall Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles (USIONs) were injected intravitreally into the rat ocular space as a model system compare to observed systemic cellular stress. The retina was dissected out for post-processing and multi-marker immunocytochemistry.

Further analysis of retinal cryosections on Müller glia (Vimentin, Red, 555), macrophages (Iba-1, Light Blue, 647) and neuronal (NeuN, Blue, 405; βIII-tubulin, Green, 488) immunoreactivity are visualized using 20X objective on Zeiss Meta confocal microscope.

February - Night City Lights

Image of the month

Image by Dr Polina Nedoboy, Heart Research Institute

Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) in red and phosphorylated tyrosine hydroxylase (pTH) in blue. Neuronal projections in a sagittal section of the rat spinal cord.

Taken with Zeiss Axio Imager Z2.

January - Tilescan Confocal Image of Mouse Kidney

Image of the month

Image by Dr Louise Cole, Bosch Institute

Whole kidney cleared using CLARITY method, stained using 7-AAD nuclear stain and imaged using the confocal microscope.

Tubules and glomeruli can be seen in the cortex of the kidney in both the fluorescent image (left in green) and the same but pseudo-coloured image (right: 16-colours, flipped vertically 90 degrees) that shows the differences in intensity throughout the tilescan.