In situ hematopoietic stem cell imaging

Aparna Venkatraman, Sarah E. Smith, Sandra Pinho, Meng Zhao, Linheng Li, Paul Frenette

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Although immunohistochemistry of tissue sections has been the gold standard for analyzing tissue structure and cellular localization, this approach has significant shortcomings when it comes to analyzing complex and heterogeneous tissues such as the bone marrow with rare cells like hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Hence, studying rare cells and their relationship with the surrounding heterogenous microenvironment requires visualization of specifically labeled cells within large intact tissues in three dimensions. Here, we describe a whole mount sternal bone marrow imaging method which has enabled detailed quantitative and qualitative analysis of rare HSCs within the sternal tissue. The methodology is broadly applicable for examining the 3D architecture of niche cells in relation to HSCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6029


  • Confocal imaging
  • Hematopoietic stem cells
  • Immunostaining
  • Microenvironment/niche
  • Second harmonic generation
  • Sternum
  • Whole mount

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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