Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Journal of Cell Science

ISSN

0021-9533

Volume

103

Issue

2

First Page

491

Last Page

499

Publication Date

1-1-1992

Abstract

A simplified model of TIRF optics was used to quantitate the relative membrane/substratum separation distances from the spatial pattern of TIRF image brightness. Phase-contrast and total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM) images were collected of bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAEC) plated onto glass microscope slides for 15 min, 30 min and 24 h. BAEC adherent for 15 min showed an absence of a focal contact morphology, with the region of closest apposition beneath the cell center. After 30 min, multiple contacts with the surface were established and the morphology became more irregular. BAEC attached for 24 h showed well-defined focal contact regions aligned in characteristically striated patterns. The relative distance between closest and farthest membrane/substratum separations are consistent with reported distance between focal and matrix contacts. Topographical maps of membrane/substratum separation distances over the entire ventral surface of the plated cells were constructed to demonstrate the utility of quantitative TIRF microscopy.

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