Histology, the science of studying microscopic structure of the cells, tissues, and organs, provides crucial information to understand the relationship between structure and function of biological machinery.
The Histology Facility offers versatile equipment and expert knowledge that allow researchers to preserve and visualize microanatomy of their model organisms.
Our services encompass tissue processing, routine histological stains, a growing array of immunostaining techniques and in situ hybridization methods. We are dedicated to develop highly individualized approaches for each project.
Do you work with tissue systems or animal models? Do you study disease processes? Are you interested in our services?
We can assist with study design, and development and implementation of protocols for standard as well as customized experimental studies.
We routinely provide services and support for:
- Sample collection, fixation, and processing
- Cryo- and paraffin embedding and sectioning
We have experience working with several types of samples including whole organisms, isolated organs, slices or groups of tissues, cell cultures (2D and 3D), fluids, and inorganic materials.
We perform routine and special histochemical stains along with immunostainings (immunofluorescence, immunohistochemistry, and multiplex stains). We have experience with background reduction in problematic “mouse on mouse” stainings as well as cross-reactivity avoidance during multiplex stainings. We also offer RNA in situ hybridization with basic protocols and RNAscope.
Inter-facility support includes coordinated processing services (e.g., perfusion and dissection after in vivo imaging) offered with other facilities for multimodal projects. Histology staff work collaboratively with the IMP Biooptics core facility to facilitate whole slide digitization (slide scanning). Furthermore, we offer spatial transcriptomics in collaboration with VBCF NGS facility.
Support during self-service is offered exclusively to IMP/IMBA/GMI members. It includes training in the use of all the sectioning equipment available in the facility and troubleshooting support.
LabSat® is an automated stainer utilizing a microfluidic technology called FFeX and a pressurized system. It is capable of carrying out IHC/IF staining cycles within a few minutes, in a highly precise and reproducible manner. This highly open system allows for testing many types of reagents and conditions. This system accelerates the optimization times of antibodies and allows for automated multiplexing immunostaining.
A fully open immunostaining system with the capacity for 60 slides per run. It can perform immunochemistry staining with either DAB or AP-red detection systems using customized protocols.
If you are interested in having immunostains done on your samples with the i6000, please contact us.
This instrument performs automatic tissue dehydration, clearing, and paraffin infiltration of up to 360 tissue cassettes in one run.
If you are interested in using the Donatello, please contact us.
Microtome to section frozen or cryo-embedded tissues. Open-top cryostat with ergonomic design for working while standing or sitting. This cryostat allows a section thickness range from 0.5 to 100 µm. The temperature for the specimen clumper is controlled and ranges from 10°C to -35°C. There is a separate temperature control for the knife carrier down to -35°C.
Heavy duty microtomes used for paraffin sectioning, allowing a section thickness range from 0.5 to 100 µm. The sections can then be transferred onto a glass slide and used for a wide variety of staining protocols (basic staining, immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, or immunofluorescence).
In general, we offer four types of access to our shared research infrastructure:
- Research projects
- Full research services
- Trained user access | user labs
- Shared technology platform
Typically, these are set but not limited by the offered technology or instrument, and differ in the required user expertise, the usability of a technology, the user’s pre- and postprocessing input, and the underlying operational models.
Research projects are the equivalent of contract research organizations (CRO). The customer submits the starting material/sample and receives the ready-to-use data for publication. Hence, core facility members are often co-authoring and involved in the entire publication process.
Full research service
The user submits the sample, we perform a pre-defined workflow (incl. QC) and process the raw data. Data interpretation or contributions to publications cannot be offered in this service mode.
Trained user access | User labs
VBCF experts maintain an instrument park and train users to operate it. This requires a certain level of expertise, maturity of the offered technology, a hands-on attitude and reliability from the user.
Shared technology platform | Instrument park
These technologies require expert knowledge to run the offered instruments. Experts are hired by one of the research institutes on the Vienna BioCenter Campus. The experts maintain an instrument park, run the experiments and train other trainers. Machines can only be operated by experts.
The VBCF Histology facility provides full research service and trained user access.
In general, the VBCF General Cooperation Conditions apply. To order a service, please contact the facility staff as early as possible to discuss relevant details and agree upon timelines. When submitting samples, please remember to label each sample with a unique identifier (e.g., mouse ID or organoid batch number), submitter initials, and date. Please also provide relevant details such as: genotype, treatment, or other procedure. If procedures relevant to coordinated processing have been performed (e.g. in vivo imaging), please ensure that pertinent details and representative images are provided. The clearer and more complete the information provided, the lower the risk of downstream errors. The facility can also provide you with submission forms for your projects.
IMP, IMBA, and GMI researchers can, by themselves, use all sectioning equipment in the facility, but only after attending a training session with our staff. To set up an appointment for training, please contact the facility staff. For research projects or full research service, the users from the Vienna BioCenter have priority. Otherwise, the service projects are performed in the order they are requested; ‘first come, first served’.
We require acknowledgement of facility use in publications. A simple statement is sufficient and can be placed in the Materials and Methods section or in the Acknowledgments section, depending on the journal format.
The XXXXXX was performed by the Histology Facility at Vienna BioCenter Core Facilities (VBCF), member of the Vienna BioCenter (VBC), Austria.
In case of (co-)authorship:
The Vienna BioCenter Core Facilities (VBCF) Histology Facility acknowledges funding from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science & Research; and the City of Vienna.
Human Papillomavirus 42 Drives Digital Papillary Adenocarcinoma and Elicits a Germ Cell-like Program Conserved in HPV-Positive Cancers. Leiendecker L, Neumann T, Jung PS, Cronin SM, Steinacker TL, Schleiffer A, Schutzbier M, Mechtler K, Kervarrec T, Laurent E, Bachiri K, Coyaud E, Murali R, Busam KJ, Itzinger-Monshi B, Kirnbauer R, Cerroni L, Calonje E, Rütten A, Stubenrauch F, Griewank KG, Wiesner T, Obenauf AC. Cancer Discov. 2023 13(1):70-84
Dissociation of impulsive traits by subthalamic metabotropic glutamate receptor 4. Piszczek L, Constantinescu A, Kargl D, Lazovic J, Pekcec A, Nicholson JR, Haubensak W. Elife. 2022 11:e62123.
Amplification of human interneuron progenitors promotes brain tumors and neurological defects. Eichmüller OL, Corsini NS, Vértesy Á, Morassut I, Scholl T, Gruber VE, Peer AM, Chu J, Novatchkova M, Hainfellner JA, Paredes MF, Feucht M, Knoblich JA. Science. 2022 375(6579):eabf5546
Hybrid spheroid microscaffolds as modular tissue units to build macro-tissue assemblies for tissue engineering. Guillaume O, Kopinski-Grünwald O, Weisgrab G, Baumgartner T, Arslan A, Whitmore K, Van Vlierberghe S, Ovsianikov A. Acta Biomater. 2022 S1742-7061(22)00141-6.
p57Kip2 imposes the reserve stem cell state of gastric chief cells. Lee JH, Kim S, Han S, Min J, Caldwell B, Bamford AD, Rocha ASB, Park J, Lee S, Wu SS, Lee H, Fink J, Pilat-Carotta S, Kim J, Josserand M, Szep-Bakonyi R, An Y, Ju YS, Philpott A, Simons BD, Stange DE, Choi E, Koo BK, Kim JK. Cell Stem Cell. 2022 29(5):826-839.e9.
Transcription factor mesenchyme homeobox protein 2 (MEOX2) modulates nociceptor function. Kokotović T, Lenartowicz EM, Langeslag M, Ciotu CI, Fell CW, Scaramuzza A, Fischer MJM, Kress M, Penninger JM, Nagy V. FEBS J. 2022 289(12):3457-3476
Adult T-cells impair neonatal cardiac regeneration. Dolejsi T, Delgobo M, Schuetz T, Tortola L, Heinze KG, Hofmann U, Frantz S, Bauer A, Ruschitzka F, Penninger JM, Campos Ramos G, Haubner BJ. Eur Heart J. 2022 43(28):2698-2709
Polycomb-mediated repression of paternal chromosomes maintains haploid dosage in diploid embryos of Marchantia. Montgomery SA, Hisanaga T, Wang N, Axelsson E, Akimcheva S, Sramek M, Liu C, Berger F. Elife. 2022 11:e79258.
Biallelic PAX5 mutations cause hypogammaglobulinemia, sensorimotor deficits, and autism spectrum disorder. Kaiser FMP, Gruenbacher S, Oyaga MR, Nio E, Jaritz M, Sun Q, van der Zwaag W, Kreidl E, Zopf LM, Dalm VASH, Pel J, Gaiser C, van der Vliet R, Wahl L, Rietman A, Hill L, Leca I, Driessen G, Laffeber C, Brooks A, Katsikis PD, Lebbink JHG, Tachibana K, van der Burg M, De Zeeuw CI, Badura A, Busslinger M. J Exp Med. 2022 219(9):e20220498
FIBCD1 is an endocytic GAG receptor associated with a novel neurodevelopmental disorder. Fell CW, Hagelkruys A, Cicvaric A, Horrer M, Liu L, Li JSS, Stadlmann J, Polyansky AA, Mereiter S, Tejada MA, Kokotović T, Achuta VS, Scaramuzza A, Twyman KA, Morrow MM, Juusola J, Yan H, Wang J, Burmeister M, Choudhury B, Andersen TL, Wirnsberger G, Holmskov U, Perrimon N, Žagrović B, Monje FJ, Moeller JB, Penninger JM, Nagy V. EMBO Mol Med. 2022 14(9):e15829
The HUSH complex controls brain architecture and protocadherin fidelity. Hagelkruys A, Horrer M, Taubenschmid-Stowers J, Kavirayani A, Novatchkova M, Orthofer M, Pai TP, Cikes D, Zhuk S, Balmaña M, Esk C, Koglgruber R, Moeseneder P, Lazovic J, Zopf LM, Cronin SJF, Elling U, Knoblich JA, Penninger JM. Sci Adv. 2022 8(44):eabo7247.
PRDM12 Is Transcriptionally Active and Required for Nociceptor Function Throughout Life. Kokotović T, Langeslag M, Lenartowicz EM, Manion J, Fell CW, Alehabib E, Tafakhori A, Darvish H, Bellefroid EJ, Neely GG, Kress M, Penninger JM, Nagy V. Front Mol Neurosci. 2021 14:720973.
Dorsal Bed Nucleus of the Stria Terminalis-Subcortical Output Circuits Encode Positive Bias in Pavlovian Fear and Reward. Kaouane N, Ada S, Hausleitner M, Haubensak W. Front Neural Circuits. 2021 15:772512.
Ovulation suppression protects against chromosomal abnormalities in mouse eggs at advanced maternal age. Chatzidaki EE, Powell S, Dequeker BJH, Gassler J, Silva MCC, Tachibana K. Curr Biol. 2021 31(18):4038-4051.e7.
The ubiquitin ligase HOIL-1L regulates immune responses by interacting with linear ubiquitin chains. Gomez-Diaz C, Jonsson G, Schodl K, Deszcz L, Bestehorn A, Eislmayr K, Almagro J, Kavirayani A, Seida M, Fennell LM, Hagelkruys A, Kovarik P, Penninger JM, Ikeda F. iScience. 2021 24(11):103241.
Neurotransmitter signaling regulates distinct phases of multimodal human interneuron migration. Bajaj S, Bagley JA, Sommer C, Vertesy A, Nagumo Wong S, Krenn V, Lévi-Strauss J, Knoblich JA. EMBO J. 2021 40(23):e108714.
RIF1 and KAP1 differentially regulate the choice of inactive versus active X chromosomes. Enervald E, Powell LM, Boteva L, Foti R, Blanes Ruiz N, Kibar G, Piszczek A, Cavaleri F, Vingron M, Cerase A, Buonomo SBC. EMBO J. 2021 40(24):e105862.
Global biogeography of chemosynthetic symbionts reveals both localized and globally distributed symbiont groups. Osvatic JT, Wilkins LGE, Leibrecht L, Leray M, Zauner S, Polzin J, Camacho Y, Gros O, van Gils JA, Eisen JA, Petersen JM, Yuen B. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 118(29):e2104378118
Central amygdala circuitry modulates nociceptive processing through differential hierarchical interaction with affective network dynamics. Wank, I., Pliota, P., Badurek, S., Kraitsy, K., Kaczanowska J., Griessner J., Kreitz S., Hess A., Haubensak W. Commun Biol 2021 4, 732.
Organoid modeling of Zika and herpes simplex virus 1 infections reveals virus-specific responses leading to microcephaly. Krenn V, Bosone C, Burkard TR, Spanier J, Kalinke U, Calistri A, Salata C, Rilo Christoff R, Pestana Garcez P, Mirazimi A, Knoblich JA. Cell Stem Cell. 2021 28(8):1362-1379.e7.
Central amygdala circuit dynamics underlying the benzodiazepine anxiolytic effect. Griessner J, Pasieka M, Böhm V, Grössl F, Kaczanowska J, Pliota P, Kargl D, Werner B, Kaouane N, Strobelt S, Kreitz S, Hess A, Haubensak W. Mol Psychiatry 2021 26(2):534-544.
RANK links thymic regulatory T cells to fetal loss and gestational diabetes in pregnancy. Paolino M, Koglgruber R, Cronin SJF, Uribesalgo I, Rauscher E, Harreiter J, Schuster M, Bancher-Todesca D, Pranjic B, Novatchkova M, Fededa JP, White AJ, Sigl V, Dekan S, Penz T, Bock C, Kenner L, Holländer GA, Anderson G, Kautzky-Willer A, Penninger JM. Nature. 2021 589(7842):442-447.
Site-specific ubiquitination of the E3 ligase HOIP regulates apoptosis and immune signaling. Fennell LM, Gomez Diaz C, Deszcz L, Kavirayani A, Hoffmann D, Yanagitani K, Schleiffer A, Mechtler K, Hagelkruys A, Penninger J, Ikeda F.  EMBO J. 39(24):e103303
A high sensitivity ZENK monoclonal antibody to map neuronal activity in Aves. Nordmann, G.C., Malkemper, E.P., Landler, L. et al.  Sci Rep 10, 915
The amygdala instructs insular feedback for affective learning. Kargl D, Kaczanowska J, Ulonska S, Groessl F, Piszczek L, Lazovic J, Buehler K, Haubensak W.  Elife. 9:e60336.
A human tissue screen identifies a regulator of ER secretion as a brain-size determinant. Esk C, Lindenhofer D, Haendeler S, Wester RA, Pflug F, Schroeder B, Bagley JA, Elling U, Zuber J, von Haeseler A, Knoblich JA.  Science. 370(6519):935-941.
A crucial role for Jagunal homolog 1 in humoral immunity and antibody glycosylation in mice and humans. Hagelkruys A, Wirnsberger G, Stadlmann J, Wöhner M, Horrer M, Vilagos B, Jonsson G, Kogler M, Tortola L, Novatchkova M, Bönelt P, Hoffmann D, Koglgruber R, Steffen U, Schett G, Busslinger M, Bergthaler A, Klein C, Penninger JM.  J Exp Med. 218(1):e20200559.
Targeted reprogramming of H3K27me3 resets epigenetic memory in plant paternal chromatin. Borg M, Jacob Y, Susaki D, LeBlanc C, Buendía D, Axelsson E, Kawashima T, Voigt P, Boavida L, Becker J, Higashiyama T, Martienssen R, Berger F.  Nat Cell Biol. 22(6):621-629
Chromatin Organization in Early Land Plants Reveals an Ancestral Association between H3K27me3, Transposons, and Constitutive Heterochromatin. Montgomery SA, Tanizawa Y, Galik B, Wang N, Ito T, Mochizuki T, Akimcheva S, Bowman JL, Cognat V, Maréchal-Drouard L, Ekker H, Hong SF, Kohchi T, Lin SS, Liu LD, Nakamura Y, Valeeva LR, Shakirov EV, Shippen DE, Wei WL, Yagura M, Yamaoka S, Yamato KT, Liu C, Berger F.  Curr Biol. 30(4):573-588.e7.
Loss of histone macroH2A1 in hepatocellular carcinoma cells promotes paracrine-mediated chemoresistance and CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ regulatory T cells activation. Lo Re O, Mazza T, Giallongo S, Sanna P, Rappa F, Vinh Luong T, Li Volti G, Drovakova A, Roskams T, Van Haele M, Tsochatzis E, Vinciguerra M.  Theranostics 10(2):910-924.
Tetracycline Antibiotics Induce Host-Dependent Disease Tolerance to Infection. Colaço HG, Barros A, Neves-Costa A, Seixas E, Pedroso D, Velho T, Willmann KL, Faisca P, Grabmann G, Yi HS, Shong M, Benes V, Weis S, Köcher T, Moita LF.  Immunity. 54(1):53-67.e7
3D Printing of large-scale and highly porous biodegradable tissue engineering scaffolds from poly(trimethylene-carbonate) using two-photon-polymerization. Weisgrab G, Guillaume O, Guo Z, Heimel P, Slezak P, Poot A, Grijpma D, Ovsianikov A.  Biofabrication. 12(4):045036.
Apelin inhibition prevents resistance and metastasis associated with anti‐angiogenic therapyUribesalgo I, Hoffmann D, Zhang Y, Kavirayani A, Lazovic J, Berta J, Novatchkova M, Pai TP, Wimmer RA, László V, Schramek D, Karim R, Tortola L, Deswal S, Haas L, Zuber J, Szűcs M, Kuba M., Dome B, Cao Y, Haubner BJ, Penninger JM. EMBO Mol Med. 2019 11(8)
HACE1 deficiency leads to structural and functional neurodevelopmental defects Nagy V, Hollstein R, Pai TP, Herde MK, Buphamalai P, Moeseneder P, Lenartowicz E, Kavirayani A, Korenke GC, Kozieradzki I, Nitsch R, Cicvaric A, Monje Quiroga FJ, Deardorff MA, Bedoukian EC, Li Y, Yigit G, Menche J, Perçin EF, Wollnik B, Henneberger C, Kaiser FJ, Penninger JM, Neurol Genet Jun 2019, 5 (3) e330
Cdk6 coordinates Jak2V617F mutant MPN via NFκB and apoptotic networks Uras IZ, Maurer B, Nivarthi H, Jodl P, Kollmann K, Prchal-Murphy M, Milosevic Feenstra JD, Zojer M, Lagger S, Grausenburger R, Grabner B, Holly R, Kavirayani A, Bock C, Gisslinger H, Valent P, Kralovics R, Sexl V, Blood. 2019 133(15)
Precocious expression of Blimp1 in B cells causes autoimmune disease with increased self-reactive plasma cells Bönelt P, Wöhner M, Minnich M, Tagoh H, Fischer M, Jaritz M, Kavirayani A, Garimella M, Karlsson MCI, Busslinger M. EMBO J.2019 38(2).
A simple and robust protocol for immunostaining Arabidopsis pollen nuclei. Borg M, Buendía D, Berger F, Plant Reproduction. 2019 doi.org/10.1007/s00497-018-00360-7
Human blood vessel organoids as a model of diabetic vasculopathy.Wimmer RA, Leopoldi A, Aichinger M, Wick N, Hantusch B, Novatchkova M, Taubenschmid J, Hämmerle M, Esk C, Bagley JA, Lindenhofer D, Chen G, Boehm M, Agu CA, Yang F, Fu B, Zuber J, Knoblich JA, Kerjaschki D, Penninger JM, Nature 2019 565(7740):505-510
Genetically engineered cerebral organoids model brain tumor formation. Bian S, Repic M, Guo Z, Kavirayani A, Burkard T, Bagley JA, Krauditsch C & Knoblich JA, Nat. Methods. 2018 Aug; 15(8): 631-639.
Central amygdala circuit dynamics underlying the benzodiazepine anxiolytic effect. Griessner J, Pasieka M, Böhm V, Grössl F, Kaczanowska J, Pliota P, Kargl D, Werner B, Kaouane N, Strobelt S, Kreitz S, Hess A, Haubensak W, Mol Psychiatry. 2018 Nov 30
Single-cell analysis uncovers convergence of cell identities during axolotl limb regeneration. Gerber T, Murawala P, Knapp D, Masselink W, Schuez M, Hermann S, Gac-Santel M, Nowoshilow S, Kageyama J, Khattak S, Currie JD, Camp JG, Tanaka EM, Treutlein B, Science, 2018 Oct; 362 (6413): eaaq0681
Dorsal tegmental dopamine neurons gate associative learning of fear. Groessl F, Munsch T, Meis S, Griessner J, Kaczanowska J, Pliota P, Kargl D, Badurek S, Kraitsy K, Rassoulpour A, Zuber J, Lessmann V, Haubensak W, Nat. Neurosci 2018 Jul;21(7):952-62
The axolotl genome and the evolution of key tissue formation regulators. Nowoshilow S, Schloissnig S, Fei JF, Dahl A, Pang AWC, Pippel M, Winkler S, Hastie AR, Young G, Roscito JG, Falcon F, Knapp D, Powell S, Cruz A, Cao H, Habermann B, Hiller M, Tanaka EM, Myers EW, Nature, 2018 Feb; 554: 50-55
Natural killer cell-intrinsic type I IFN signaling controls Klebsiella pneumoniae growth during lung infection. Ivin M, Dumigan A, de Vasconcelos FN, Ebner F, Borroni M, Kavirayani A, Przybyszewska KN, Ingram RJ, Lienenklaus S, Kalinke U, Stoiber D, Bengoechea JA, Kovarik P, PLoS Pathog. 2017 Nov; 13(11): e1006696.
RANK rewires energy homeostasis in lung cancer cells and drives primary lung cancer. Rao S, Sigl V, Wimmer RA, Novatchkova M, Jais A, Wagner G, Handschuh S, Uribesalgo I, Hagelkruys A, Kozieradzki I, Tortola L, Nitsch R, Cronin SJ, Orthofer M, Branstetter D, Canon J, Rossi J, D'Arcangelo M, Botling J, Micke P, Fleur L, Edlund K, Bergqvist M, EkmanS, Lendl T, Popper H, Takayanagi H, Kenner L, Hirsch FR, Dougall W, Penninger JM, Genes Dev. 2017 Oct; 31(20): 2099-2112
BET-Bromodomain Inhibitors Engage the Host Immune System and Regulate Expression of the Immune Checkpoint Ligand PD-L1. Hogg SJ, Vervoort SJ, Deswal S, Ott CJ, Li J, Cluse LA, Beavis PA, Darcy PK, Martin BP, Spencer A, Traunbauer AK, Sadovnik I, Bauer K, Valent P, Bradner JE, Zuber J, Shortt J, Johnstone RW, Cell Rep. 2017 Feb; 18(9): 2162-2174
Linear ubiquitination by LUBEL has a role in Drosophila heat stress response. Asaoka T, Almagro J, Ehrhardt C, Tsai I, Schleiffer A, Deszcz L, Junttila S, Ringrose L, Mechtler K, Kavirayani A, Gyenesei A, Hofmann K, Duchek P, Rittinger K, Ikeda F, EMBO Rep. 2016 Nov; 17(11): 1624-1640.
Inhibition of CBLB protects from lethal Candida albicans sepsis. Wirnsberger G, Zwolanek F, Asaoka T, Kozieradzki I, Tortola L, Wimmer RA, Kavirayani A, Fresser F, Baier G, Langdon WY, Ikeda F, Kuchler K, Penninger JM, Nat Med. 2016 Aug; 22(8): 915-923
RANKL/RANK control Brca1 mutation-driven mammary tumors. Sigl V, Owusu-Boaitey K, Joshi PA, Kavirayani A, Wirnsberger G, Novatchkova M, Kozieradzki I, Schramek D, Edokobi N, Hersl J, Sampson A, Odai-Afotey A, Lazaro C, Gonzalez-Suarez E, Pujana MA, Cimba F, Heyn H, Vidal E, Cruickshank J, Berman H, Sarao R, Ticevic M, Uribesalgo I, Tortola L, Rao S, Tan Y, Pfeiler G, Lee EY, Bago-Horvath Z, Kenner L, Popper H, Singer C, Khokha R, Jones LP, Penninger JM, Cell Res. 2016 Jul; 26(7): 761-774.
Fast volumetric calcium imaging across multiple cortical layers using sculpted light. Prevedel R, Verhoef AJ, Pernía-Andrade AJ, Weisenburger S, Huang BS, Nöbauer T, Fernández A, Delcour JE, Golshani P, Baltuska A, Vaziri A, Nat Methods, 2016 Dec; 13(12): 1021-1028