Published: August 4th, 2016
This report describes a CUBIC protocol to clarify full thickness mouse skin biopsies, and visualize protein expression patterns, proliferating cells, and sebocytes at the single cell resolution in 3D. This method enables accurate assessment of skin anatomy and pathology, and of abnormal epidermal phenotypes in genetically modified mouse lines.
The skin is essential for our survival. The outer epidermal layer consists of the interfollicular epidermis, which is a stratified squamous epithelium covering most of our body, and epidermal appendages such as the hair follicles and sweat glands. The epidermis undergoes regeneration throughout life and in response to injury. This is enabled by K14-expressing basal epidermal stem/progenitor cell populations that are tightly regulated by multiple regulatory mechanisms active within the epidermis and between epidermis and dermis. This article describes a simple method to clarify full thickness mouse skin biopsies, and visualize K14 protein expression patterns, Ki67 labeled proliferating cells, Nile Red labeled sebocytes, and DAPI nuclear labeling at single cell resolution in 3D. This method enables accurate assessment and quantification of skin anatomy and pathology, and of abnormal epidermal phenotypes in genetically modified mouse lines. The CUBIC protocol is the best method available to date to investigate molecular and cellular interactions in full thickness skin biopsies at single cell resolution.
The skin is essential for our survival. It consists of three main layers the outer epidermis, the dermis and the hypodermis. The epidermis is a highly regenerative tissue. It is a squamous stratified epithelium, consisting mostly of keratinocytes. Keratinocytes are born in the basal layer, and move upwards through the suprabasal layers while differentiating, and eventually they are shed in the outer cornified layer about a month after their birth. The epidermis develops a number of appendages including the hair follicles and sebaceous glands. The hair follicles also regenerate in a cyclical fashion throughout life1. The regenerative capacity of the epidermi....
Ethics Statement: All procedures involving animal subjects follow the guidelines of the Animal Care and Ethics Committee (ACEC) at UNSW Australia under approved ACEC protocol 13/64B.
1. Preparation of the Transparent Mouse Skin Tissue
Note: All mice used in this study were on a C57BL/6 genetic background
Full thickness dorsal skin biopsies of adult wildtype mice were clarified, stained with an antibody binding basal keratinocyte marker Keratin14 (K14), and nuclei were counterstained with DAPI staining solution (Figure 2 and Movie 1).
DAPI-positive nuclei were visible throughout the sample (Figure 2A, C), and K14 staining was visible exclusively in the one-cell thick basal layer of the interfollicular epidermis, and outlining the sebaceous glan.......
The regulatory mechanisms controlling skin development and homeostasis are most commonly studied in 2D using tissue sectioning and histological staining or labeling with antibodies, which enables only a restricted appreciation of skin morphology, cell populations or protein expression. A number of methods have been developed to improve visualization of the spatial organization of cells and proteins at single cell resolution in 3 dimensions in epidermal whole mounts10-13. Some of these however involve separatio.......
We thank Australian Bio-Resources (Garvan Institute, Australia), the Biological Resources Centre (UNSW Australia) and the Animal Care & Ethics Committee for support with animal experimentation. This work was supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (Project Grant APP1062720). Dr. Cesar P. Canales is recipients of a CONICYT-Becas Chile scholarship (#72101076). Mr. Bassem Akladios is a recipient of University International Postgraduate Award by UNSW Australia.....
|Ethanol 96% (undenaturated)
|N,N,N’,N’-tetrakis (2-hydroxypropyl) ethylenediamine
|Polyethylene glycol mono-p-isooctylphenyl ether
|Optimal Cutting Temperature (OCT) Compound
|Donkey anti-rabbit Alexa 594
|Nikon Instruments Inc
|Nikon A1 - Confocal Microscope
|cruZer6 Face Trimmer
|Braun cruZer6 Face
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