episcopic 3d imaging - 282 Current Genomics, 2008, 9,...

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282 Current Genomics, 2008 , 9, 282-289 1389-2029/08 $55.00+.00 ©2008 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd. Episcopic 3D Imaging Methods: Tools for Researching Gene Function Wolfgang J. Weninger * and Stefan H. Geyer IMG, Centre for Anatomy and Cell Biology, Medical University of Vienna, Waehringer Str. 13, A-1090 Vienna, Austria Abstract: This work aims at describing episcopic 3D imaging methods and at discussing how these methods can contrib- ute to researching the genetic mechanisms driving embryogenesis and tissue remodelling, and the genesis of pathologies. Several episcopic 3D imaging methods exist. The most advanced are capable of generating high-resolution volume data (voxel sizes from 0.5x0.5x1 ± m upwards) of small to large embryos of model organisms and tissue samples. Beside anat- omy and tissue architecture, gene expression and gene product patterns can be three dimensionally analyzed in their pre- cise anatomical and histological context with the aid of whole mount in situ hybridization or whole mount immunohisto- chemical staining techniques. Episcopic 3D imaging techniques were and are employed for analyzing the precise morpho- logical phenotype of experimentally malformed, randomly produced, or genetically engineered embryos of biomedical model organisms. It has been shown that episcopic 3D imaging also fits for describing the spatial distribution of genes and gene products during embryogenesis, and that it can be used for analyzing tissue samples of adult model animals and hu- mans. The latter offers the possibility to use episcopic 3D imaging techniques for researching the causality and treatment of pathologies or for staging cancer. Such applications, however, are not yet routine and currently only preliminary results are available. We conclude that, although episcopic 3D imaging is in its very beginnings, it represents an upcoming meth- odology, which in short terms will become an indispensable tool for researching the genetic regulation of embryo devel- opment as well as the genesis of malformations and diseases. Received on: March 11, 2008 - Revised on: April 14, 2008 - Accepted on: April 17, 2008 Key Words: 3D modelling, episcopic microscopy, imaging, embryo, development, gene expression. BACKGROUND Challenging hereditary diseases and pathologies requires profound knowledge of the genetic and epigenetic pathways regulating their genesis. Therefore modern biomedicine de- veloped a number of different approaches for researching the role and function of genes and gene products in normal and diseased embryos, organs, and tissues. The following study shall provide a very brief overview of techniques capable of researching gene function. It will then focus on imaging methods, which can quickly generate correctly registered digital image stacks, captured from the block surfaces of sequentially cut, histological processed, and embedded specimens (three dimensional (3D) episcopic imaging meth- ods). These methods will be described in more detail and their value for researching gene function will be discussed.
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This note was uploaded on 05/28/2010 for the course BIOLOGY 03234 taught by Professor Sochacka during the Spring '10 term at Ghent University.

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episcopic 3d imaging - 282 Current Genomics, 2008, 9,...

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