Gastrin is a small peptide capable of both stimulating gastric acid secretion and acting as an enteric growth factor. Known functions of eosinophils in the rat stomach are related to immunological defense. Here we demonstrate the binding of biotinylated gastrin to rat stomach eosinophils in the electron microscope. Small pieces of stomach were fixed by immersion in 4% paraformaldehyde/0.1% glutaraldehyde in 0.1 M phosphate buffer, pH 7.4 for 1 hour. The tissue was then cryoprotected in 30% sucrose/0.1 M phosphate buffer, transferred to Tissue Tek OCT compound and frozen in isopentane cooled with liquid nitrogen. Transverse cryostat sections were cut at 25 μm, thawed in PBS and free floating sections exposed to 10−5 M biotinylated 1-17 gastrin (human sequence; Peninsula Labs) for 1 hour. Controls omitted the biotinylated gastrin from this step. Sections were then rinsed 3X in PBS and exposed to either:
1). a 1:50 dilution of 10 nm Extravidin colloidal gold (Sigma) for 2 hours, or
2). an avidin-biotin-alkaline phosphatase complex (ABC-AP;
Vector) for 1 hour. A substrate solution containing cerium chloride was used to generate an electron dense reaction product.
Sections from both procedures were postfixed in 1% OsO4 in 0.1 M phosphate buffer, rinsed and dehydrated. These were then flat embedded in EMbed 812 between two microscope slides coated with Liquid Release (both from Electron Microscopy Sciences).
Polymerized sections were adhered to resin blocks using super glue, cut at 70-90 nm, stained with uranyl acetate/lead citrate and observed in a Philips CM-10 electron microscope.