Three-dimensional histochemistry and imaging of human gingiva

Adriano Azaripour, Tonny Lagerweij, Christina Scharfbillig, Anna Elisabeth Jadczak, Britt Van Der Swaan, Manon Molenaar, Rens Van Der Waal, Karoline Kielbassa, Wikky Tigchelaar, Daisy I. Picavet, Ard Jonker, Esther M. L. Hendrikx, Vashendriya V. V. Hira, Mohammed Khurshed, Cornelis J. F. Van Noorden

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In the present study, 3D histochemistry and imaging methodology is described for human gingiva to analyze its vascular network. Fifteen human gingiva samples without signs of inflammation were cleared using a mixture of 2-parts benzyl benzoate and 1-part benzyl alcohol (BABB), after being immunofluorescently stained for CD31, marker of endothelial cells to visualize blood vessels in combination with fluorescent DNA dyes. Samples were imaged in 3D with the use of confocal microscopy and light-sheet microscopy and image processing. BABB clearing caused limited tissue shrinkage 13 ± 7% as surface area and 24 ± 1% as volume. Fluorescence remained intact in BABB-cleared gingiva samples and light-sheet microscopy was an excellent tool to image gingivae whereas confocal microscopy was not. Histochemistry on cryostat sections of gingiva samples after 3D imaging validated structures visualized in 3D. Three-dimensional images showed the vascular network in the stroma of gingiva with one capillary loop in each stromal papilla invading into the epithelium. The capillary loops were tortuous with structural irregularities that were not apparent in 2D images. It is concluded that 3D histochemistry and imaging methodology described here is a promising novel approach to study structural aspects of human gingiva in health and disease.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1647
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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