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

Benzidine dihydrochloride as a chromogen for single- and double-label light and electron microscopic immunocytochemical studies.


PMID 2426333

Abstract

Although very sensitive chromogens have been adapted for localization of horseradish peroxidase in anterograde and retrograde tracing studies, they have not been successfully applied in immunocytochemical studies. This report describes a protocol which uses benzidine dihydrochloride (BDHC) as the chromogen for light (LM) and electron microscopic (EM) immunocytochemical studies. The protocol is comparable to that used for tetramethylbenzidine, except that the pH of the reaction is above 6.0. At the LM level, the BDHC reaction product is bluish-green and crystalline. Both the color and form of the product are readily distinguished from the reddish-brown DAB reaction product. LM double-labeling studies are therefore feasible. The use of BDHC also increases significantly the sensitivity of the immunoreaction. Higher fixative concentrations can be used, less detergent is necessary, and higher primary antibody dilutions are possible. By osmicating at 45 degrees C in an s-collidine buffer it is possible to preserve the soluble BDHC reaction product for EM analysis. Immunoreactive cells are particularly well labeled with this new protocol. The BDHC crystals are easily detected at the EM level and can be distinguished from flocculent DAB reaction product. This feature makes EM double-labeling studies possible.

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