TdTomato and EGFP identification in histological sections: Insight and alternatives

Lee M. Morris, C. A. Klanke, S. A. Lang, F. Y. Lim, T. M. Crombleholme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Tandem dimer Tomato (tdTomato) provides a useful alternative to enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) for performing simultaneous detection of fluorescent protein in histological sections together with fluorescence immunohistochemistry (IHC). eGFP has many properties that make it useful for cell labeling; however, during simultaneous fluorescence IHC, the usefulness of eGFP may be limited. This limitation results from a fixation step required to identify eGFP in histological tissue sections that can mask antibody epitopes and adversely affect staining intensity. An alternative fluorescent protein, tdTomato, may assist concurrent detection of fluorescent protein within tissue sections and fluorescence IHC, because detection of tdTomato does not require tissue fixation. Tissue sections were obtained from various organs of mice ubiquitously expressing eGFP or tdTomato that were either unfixed or fixed with 4% paraformaldehyde. These tissues later were combined with fluorescence IHC. Both eGFP and tdTomato displayed robust signals in fixed frozen sections. Only tdTomato fluorescence, however, was detected in unfixed frozen sections. Simultaneous detection of fluorescence IHC and fluorescent protein in histological sections was observed only in unfixed frozen tdTomato tissue. For this reason, tdTomato is a useful substitute for eGFP for cell labeling when simultaneous fluorescence IHC is required.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-387
Number of pages9
JournalBiotechnic and Histochemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010


  • eGFP
  • fluorescence microscopy
  • TdTomato

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Histology
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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