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The journal of histochemistry and cytochemistry : official journal of the Histochemistry Society

Silver carbonate staining reveals mitochondrial heterogeneity.


PMID 14729873

Abstract

Silver staining methods, when selective, yield a high-contrast and high-resolution image in optical microscopy. A classical method for silver impregnation of mitochondria has been applied to murine tissues and reveals a marked heterogeneity among mitochondria in single cells. This heterogeneity can be detected in the optical microscope but is even more evident at the ultrastructural level. The differences in staining intensity may reflect different stages in the mitochondrial life cycle. The progressive accumulation of uranyl-argyrophilic material may be a marker of mitochondrial aging. This highly selective staining procedure may be of use in studies of mitochondrial changes under pathological conditions and during apoptosis.