Cell and molecular imaging of tissue/cell preparations stained with histochemical and immunohistochemical markers allows researchers to identify the biochemical components and pathways of specimens at subcellular resolution. The COBRE Imaging and Histology Core has been instrumental in this area and provides investigators with space, facilities, instrumentation, supervision, and training for microscopy of livecells and histological specimens (fixed and frozen), laser capture microdissection, confocal imaging, and a variety of histochemical techniques to investigate cardiovascular biology at the cellular and molecular level.
The specific aims of this Core are: 1)To provide skilled personnel to assist and/or perform highly specialized microscopic techniques including deconvolution, confocal microscopy, 3D reconstruction, co-localization, ratio imaging. Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF), fluorescent resonance energy transfer (FRET), and fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) of both fixed and live cell samples;2) To assist in the collection, processing and staining of histological samples, including standard and special stains, and immunohistochemical antibody labeling;3) To conduct experiments and assist investigators with the selection of appropriate special stains as well as interpretation of histological and immunohistochemical data; 4) To mentor young investigators and students, and advise senior investigators, on the potential application of microscopic techniques, histological analysis and immunohistochemistry to enhance their research projects and provide avenues towards developing translational research projects;5) To guide image analysis methodologies for histological examination. This Core continues to provide COBRE and University investigators, including faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students, with imaging recourses and technical assistance. Whether investigators are studying cardiovascular biology at the level ofthe cell, tissue, or whole animal, this core has been instrumental to each of our COBRE researchers in examining the structural and/or histological basis for, or confirmation of, different cardiovascular disease states.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death and a major cause of disability woridwide (1,2). The state-of-the-art technology and experienced personnel provided by this Core will continue to enhance the COBRE investigator's progress towards acquisition of extramural funding and will support the overall mission ofthe Cardiovascular Center of Excellence.