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Biomedica : revista del Instituto Nacional de Salud

[Protocol for the combination of neurohistological techniques on vibratome obtained sections].


PMID 22674321

Abstract

The histological study of the nervous system requires the use of special techniques. Currently, no methods are available to visualize simultaneously all the cellular constituents of nervous tissue. A protocol was adapted for staining nervous tissue by modification of a formerly difficult procedure. Slices of brain and spinal cord, 4 mm thick, were taken from adult mice, previously fixed by intracardiac perfusion with 4% paraformaldehyde. Vibratome sections were obtained with thickness of 15-25 µm. These were mounted on glass slides prepared with gelatin as an adhesive. The preparations were subjected to staining protocol Luxol Fast Blue-PAS-hematoxylin (LPH) combined with silver staining method (LPH-Holmes). LPH technique yielded an excellent differentiation of gray and white matter in all regions of the nervous system. A panoramic view of the gray matter was colored pink in contrast to the myelinated nerve fibers and tracts which were light blue. The combination LPH-Holmes retained the staining characteristics but significantly improved the demarcation of axons and tracts. A protocol was standardized for the LPH and LPH-Holmes nervous tissue stains applied in combination to tissue slices obtained with a vibratome. The method was shorter, less wasteful and less expensive than the original and also better preserved the integrity of nervous tissue.

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