Strukturbiologie der Niere / Elektronenmikroskopie Facility

Many of the phenotypes in human kidney disease are only detectable at the ultrastructural level. This holds also true for the model systems of genetic and epigenetic based disturbances of renal development, biology or aging. Our group applies transmission and scanning microscope techniques in human and animal tissue (e.g. mouse, rat, zebrafish, drosophila) in order to detect and characterize subtle ultrastructural alterations e.g. of the glomerular filtration barrier, the actin cytoskeleton or intracellular vesicle formation and trafficking at a qualitative and quantitative level. Moreover, pre- and post-embedding immunogold labelling allow us to follow subcellular redistribution of proteins under disease conditions.

We are currently establishing freeze fracture/replica immunogold labelling of kidney tissue and correlative light electron microscopy (CLEM) especially in combination with 3D clarity immunofluorescence imaging in order to broaden our toolbox for the analysis and understanding of renal structural alterations in disease.

Transmission electron microscopy (TEM)
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Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) of the developing mouse kidney showing cap mesenchym and ureteric bud
TEM of a normal mouse glomerular filtration barrier
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TEM of a normal mouse glomerular filtration barrier (A) and foot process effacement in a ko mouse model lacking nephrin (B)
TEM Drosophilia
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TEM of Drosophila melanogaster nephrocytes. Chemical (A) and high pressure freezing (B) fixed nephrocytes display foot process and slit diaphragm like structure
Helium Ion Microscopy
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Helium Ion Microscopy showing a mice glomerulum
Immunogold labelling
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Immunogold labelling qualitatively showing the ultrastructural localisation of nephrin in the region oft he slit diaphragm in a mouse kidney
Freeze fracture replica
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Freeze fracture replica showing proximal tubular epithelium (A). Immunogold labelling using Freeze fracture replicas of mice glomerulum allows quantitative anal

Group Members