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  • A new use for an old method: the Woelcke myelin stain for counting degenerating neurons in the brain of mice following status epilepticus.

A new use for an old method: the Woelcke myelin stain for counting degenerating neurons in the brain of mice following status epilepticus.

Neurotoxicology (2011-12-14)
Pierre Carpentier, Annie Foquin, Frédéric Dorandeu
ABSTRACT

The Woelcke method is classically used for myelin staining. Degenerating neurons can be revealed histologically by hemalun and phloxin (H&P) where they appear "eosinophilic". In the first 24 h following soman-induced status epilepticus, we observed that the Woelcke method also revealed condensed, dark blue/black cells (W+ cells) in the gray matter of brain regions known to be sites of seizure-related brain damage, marked by the presence of eosinophilic cells. In the present study, using adjacent brain sections alternately stained with either the Woelcke or the H&P method, we show that eosinophilic cells and W+ cells are the same degenerating cells. Moreover, we show that semi-automated quantitative evaluation of W+ cells through computerized image analysis is considerably easier and faster than that of eosinophilic cells. It is therefore concluded that the Woelcke technique could be very useful, especially for quantifying acute brain cell damage following status epilepticus.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Phloxine B, antibacterial fluorescent dye
Sigma-Aldrich
Phloxine B, Dye content ≥80 %, certified by the Biological Stain Commission
Sigma-Aldrich
Hematein, for microscopy (Hist.)