Many of the phenotypes in human kidney disease are only detectable at the ultrastructural level. This holds also true for the model systems of genetic and epigenetic based disturbances of renal development, biology or aging. Our group applies transmission and scanning microscope techniques in human and animal tissue (e.g. mouse, rat, zebrafish, drosophila) in order to detect and characterize subtile ultrastructural alterations e.g. of the glomerular filtration barrier, the actin cytoskeleton or intracellular vesicle formation and trafficing at a qualitative and quantitative level. Moreover, pre- and postembedding immunogold labelling allow us to follow subcellular redistrubution of proteins under disease conditions.
We are currently establishing freeze fracture/replica immunogold labelling at kidney tissue and correlative light electron microscopy (CLEM) in order to broaden our toolbox for the analysis and understanding of renal structural alterations in disease.