Optical Monitoring of Living Nerve Terminal Labeling in Hair Follicle Lanceolate Endings of the Ex Vivo Mouse Ear Skin

Guy S. Bewick, Robert W. Banks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


A novel dissection and recording technique is described for optical monitoring staining and de-staining of lanceolate terminals surrounding hair follicles in the skin of the mouse pinna. The preparation is simple and relatively fast, reliably yielding extensive regions of multiple labeled units of living nerve terminals to study uptake and release of styryl pyridinium dyes extensively used in studies of vesicle recycling. Subdividing the preparations before labeling allows test vs. control comparisons in the same ear from a single individual. Helpful tips are given for improving the quality of the preparation, the labeling and the imaging parameters. This new system is suitable for assaying pharmacologically and mechanically-induced uptake and release of these vital dyes in lanceolate terminals in both wild-type and genetically modified animals. Examples of modulatory influences on labeling intensity are given.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere53855
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of visualized experiments : JoVE
Early online date9 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 2016



  • lanceolate endings
  • hair follicle
  • mechanosensation
  • ear
  • skin
  • mouse
  • electrophysiology

Cite this