Scanning Electron Microscopy


Methods are introduced for in situ preparation of cell cultures grown on glass coverslips using the replica technique. Special equipment and handling procedures enabled us to prepare large-sized and stable replicas suitable for ultrastructural and immunocytochemical analysis of the different faces of the plasma membrane (PM): the extraplasmic surface (ES), the complementary extraplasmic (EF) and protoplasmic (PF) fracture face, and the protoplasmic surface (PS). Colloidal gold markers in combination with protein A and monospecific/monoclonal antibodies were used to identify virus-specific antigens at the ES of infected cells. Stereo replicas show a coincident location of gold-labeled virus antigens at the ES and structures visible at the EF as well as at the PS. In addition, the association of these antigens with cytoskeletal elements is demonstrated.

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