Conventional and confocal fluorescence microscopy of collagen fibers in the heart

P. C. Dolber, M. S. Spach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Scopus citations


The arrangement of collagen fibers has previously been studied with picrosirius red (PSR) staining and brightfield microscopy. We discovered that PSR staining can also be visualized by fluorescence microscopy. PSR-stained collagen was strongly fluorescent using excitation and barrier filters for rhodamine, and distracting background cytoplasmic fluorescence was drastically reduced with phosphomolybdic acid (PMA) treatment before PSR staining. The PMA-PSR fluorescence method was more sensitive than the brightfield PSR or PMA-PSR method, and permitted confocal microscopic study. We applied the method to the study of collagen fiber three-dimensional arrangement in perimysial and endomysial septa of the heart, showing the three-dimensional course of the fibers in stereo views generated by confocal microscopy. The PMA-PSR fluorescence method should be generally useful for accurately determining collagen fiber three-dimensional arrangement, a necessary prelude to mechanical modeling of collagen-reinforced tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-469
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiac muscle
  • Collagen
  • Confocal microscopy
  • Dog
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Fluorescence microscopy
  • Heart
  • Picrosirius red

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology


Dive into the research topics of 'Conventional and confocal fluorescence microscopy of collagen fibers in the heart'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this