Cell Staining: Fluorescent Labelling of the Endoplasmic Reticulum


The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) performs functions of protein and lipid synthesis and calcium regulation. Under optimal conditions, its complex structure of interconnected tubules and cisternae can be imaged by high‐resolution light microscopy. Immunofluorescence methods, which are useful in many situations, usually destroy the delicate ER structure during fixation and permeabilization.

Keywords: tubules; cisternae; dyes; applications; visualization

Figure 1.

A mouse 3T3 fibroblast cell stained with DiOC6(3). The cell was grown in culture on a glass coverslip, fixed in glutaraldehyde and stained with the dye. The staining was photographed with a conventional wide‐field fluorecence microscope using ×100 objective lens. The dye stains mitochondria and other organelles, but the most striking membranes are those of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), which is the extensive network throughout the cell. The ER consists of interconnected tubules and cisternae (flat, planar membranes).



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Terasaki, Mark(Apr 2001) Cell Staining: Fluorescent Labelling of the Endoplasmic Reticulum. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0002631]