A 34-Marker Panel for Imaging Mass Cytometric Analysis of Human Snap-Frozen Tissue

Guo, N., Unen, V.V, Ijsselsteijn, M.E.

Imaging mass cytometry (IMC) is able to quantify the expression of dozens of markers at sub-cellular resolution on a single tissue section by combining a novel laser ablation system with mass cytometry. As such, it allows us to gain spatial information and antigen quantification in situ, and can be applied to both snap-frozen and formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue sections. Herein, we have developed and optimized the immunodetection conditions for a 34-antibody panel for use on human snap-frozen tissue sections. For this, we tested the performance of 80 antibodies. Moreover, we compared tissue drying times, fixation procedures and antibody incubation conditions. We observed that variations in the drying times of tissue sections had little impact on the quality of the images. Fixation with methanol for 5 min at −20°C or 1% paraformaldehyde (PFA) for 5 min at room temperature followed by methanol for 5 min at −20°C were superior to fixation with acetone or PFA only. Finally, we observed that antibody incubation overnight at 4°C yielded more consistent results as compared to staining at room temperature for 5 h. Finally, we used the optimized method for staining of human fetal and adult intestinal tissue samples. We present the tissue architecture and spatial distribution of the stromal cells and immune cells in these samples visualizing blood vessels, the epithelium and lamina propria based on the expression of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), E-Cadherin and Vimentin, while simultaneously revealing the colocalization of T cells, innate lymphoid cells (ILCs), and various myeloid cell subsets in the lamina propria of the human fetal intestine. We expect that this work can aid the scientific community who wish to improve IMC data quality.


Guo, N., Unen, V.V, Ijsselsteijn, M.E. "A 34-Marker Panel for Imaging Mass Cytometric Analysis of Human Snap-Frozen Tissue" Frontiers in Immunology (2020):