Chapter 18 Visualization of Desmosomes in the Electron Microscope

Anthea Scothern, David Garrod

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Desmosomes are intercellular junctions found in epithelia and some other tissues. Their primary function is strong cell-cell adhesion. They also link the intermediate filament (IF) cytoskeletons between cells and have roles in cell signaling, tissue morphogenesis, and wound repair. Because of their size (0.2-0.5 μm), details of their ultrastructure can only be resolved at the electron microscope (EM) level. Desmosomes have been visualized using a variety of ultrastructural techniques including lanthanum infiltration, freeze-fracture, electron tomography, cryo-electron microscopy and immunogold labeling. This chapter describes protocols for conventional transmission electron microscopy and for immunogold labeling of ultrathin cryosections. We also discuss the statistical analysis of immunogold particle distribution for low resolution molecular mapping. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)347-366
    Number of pages19
    JournalMethods in Cell Biology
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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