Typically employed for tissue sections, in vivo neurons, and cultured cells, 3,000 MW dextrans are used to trace fine neuron projections and investigate gap junctions; 10,000 MW dextrans have slower distribution and longer cellular retention and do not cross gap junctions. The staining pattern produced by most of these labeled dextran products is lysine fixable.


Select dextran conjugates for neuron staining

Dextran Conjugates for Neuron Staining

  • 3,000 and 10,000 MW
  • Direct fluorescence or secondary detection
  • Load by microinjection or iontophoresis
  • Fixable and photostable options

Fluorescent and biotinylated dextrans are routinely used to trace neuronal projections. 3,000 MW dextrans are rapidly dispersed into fine cellular projections and can be used to investigate gap junctions. By contrast, the 10,000 MW dextrans are retained within the cell and do not cross gap junctions, and they have slower distribution but longer cellular retention.

Fluorecent dextrans can be imaged directly. Biotinylated dextrans are suitable for secondary detection and signal amplification. These are offered in a range of fluorescent colors, and most conjugates are lysine-fixable for use in conjunction with antibody labeling. The 10,000 MW AlexaFluor® conjugates are generally brighter and more photostable.

  Dextran conjugates
Secondary motor neurons in a spinal cord whole mount of a male western mosquitofish labeled with lysine-fixable 3000 MW Texas Red® dextran.

Selection Guides for Dextran Conjugates

Properties

 
3,000 MW Dextran
3,000 MW Dextran, Fluorophore, Biotin
Readout Direct fluorescence imaging of cells Direct fluorescence imaging of cells; biotins easily accept secondary detection to amplify weak signals
Carrier Dextran, 3,000 MW Dextran, biotin, 3,000 MW
Tissue sections Yes
In vivo neurons Yes
Fixed tissue sections No
Cultured cells Yes
Cell loading Microinjection
Staining mode Endogenous
Best for Single cells
Transport Bidirectional
Synaptic transfer No
Gap junction transfer Yes
Bibliography Citations Citations

 

Selection Guide—Lysine-Fixable Dextrans

 
Standard filter set(s)
Fluorophore/conjugate
Ex/Em (nm)
Photobleaching resistance
Quantity
Cat. No.
Dextran, Biotin, 3,000 MW NA Biotin NA NA 10 mg D7135
Dextran, Fluorescein and Biotin, 3,000 MW FITC Fluorescein 494/518 2 stars 5 mg D7156
Dextran, Tetramethylrhodamine and Biotin, 3,000 MW TAMRA TAMRA 555/580 2 stars 5 mg D7162
Dextran, Fluorescein, 3,000 MW FITC Fluorescein 494/521 2 stars 10 mg D3306
Dextran, Tetramethylrhodamine, 3,000 MW TAMRA TAMRA 555/580 2 stars 10 mg D3308
Dextran, Texas Red®, 3,000 MW Texas Red® Texas Red® 595/615 2 stars 10 mg D3328

 

Selection Guide—Non-Fixable Dextrans

 
Standard filter set(s)
Fluorophore/conjugate
Ex/Em (nm)
Photobleaching resistance
Quantity
Cat. No.
Dextran, Rhodamine Green™, 3,000 MW FITC Rhodamine Green™ 502/527 3 stars 5 mg D7163
Dextran, Tetramethylrhodamine, 3,000 MW TAMRA TAMRA 555/580 2 stars 10 mg D3307
Dextran, Texas Red®, 3,000 MW Texas Red® Texas Red® 595/615 2 stars 10 mg D3329

Properties

 
10,000 MW Dextran, Alexa Fluor®
10,000 MW Dextran, Fluorophore, Biotin
Readout Direct fluorescence imaging of cells Direct fluorescence imaging of cells; biotins easily accept secondary detection to amplify weak signals
Carrier Dextran, 10,000 MW Dextran, biotin 10,000 MW
Tissue sections Yes
In vivo neurons Yes
Fixed tissue sections No
Cultured cells Yes
Cell loading Microinjection
Staining mode Endogenous
Best for Single cells
Fixable Lysine-fixable
Transport Bidirectional
Photobleaching resistance 5 stars 2 stars
Synaptic transfer No
Gap junction transfer No
Bibliography Citations Citations

 

Selection Guide

 
Standard filter set(s)
Fluorophore/conjugate
Ex/Em (nm)
Quantity
Cat. No.
Dextran, Alexa Fluor® 488, 10,000 MW FITC Alexa Fluor® 488 495/519 5 mg D22910
Dextran, Alexa Fluor® 546, 10,000 MW TRITC Alexa Fluor® 546 556/573 5 mg D22911
Dextran, Alexa Fluor® 555, 10,000 MW Alexa Fluor® 555 555/565 5 mg D34679
Dextran, Alexa Fluor® 568, 10,000 MW Rhodamine Alexa Fluor® 568 578/603 5mg D22912
Dextran, Alexa Fluor® 594, 10,000 MW Texas Red® Alexa Fluor® 594 590/617 5 mg D22913
Dextran, Alexa Fluor® 647, 10,000 MW Cy®5 Alexa Fluor® 647 650/668 5 mg D22914
Dextran, Alexa Fluor® 680, 10,000 MW Cy®5.5 Alexa Fluor® 680 679/702 5 mg D34680
Dextran, Tetramethylrhodamine and Biotin, 10,000 MW TAMRA TAMRA 555/580 10 mg D3312
Dextran, Fluorescein and Biotin, 10,000 MW FITC Fluorescein 494/518 10 mg D7178