Toxicologic pathology

The Application of Paraphenylenediamine Staining for Assessment of Phospholipidosis.

PMID 27770109


Drug-induced phospholipidosis is characterized by intracellular accumulation of phospholipids with lamellar bodies in cells exposed to xenobiotics. Demonstration of the lamellar bodies by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is the hallmark for a definitive diagnosis of phospholipidosis. However, the preparation of tissue samples for TEM and their ultrastructural evaluation are technically challenging and time consuming. Paraphenylenediamine (PPD) is essentially a fat stain, and the staining mechanism is based upon the osmication of unsaturated lipids. Thus, the application of PPD staining to osmicated tissue samples is considered an optimal way to identify lipids. We evaluated the potential of PPD staining to localize phospholipid accumulations on osmium-fixed semi-thin tissue sections of the lung, kidney, and liver, which were affected with phospholipidosis, under a light microscope. PPD staining revealed the presence of PPD positive dark fine granular material in the cytoplasm for all affected tissues examined, which correlated ultrastructurally with lamellar bodies as well as a light microscopic finding of cytoplasmic vacuolation. The great advantage of PPD is that it can be incorporated into the protocol for standard TEM tissue preparation and significantly improve the efficiency of TEM work. In conclusion, PPD provides a simple, sensitive, and reliable method for visualizing phospholipid accumulation on light microscopy and represents an easy tool to study drug-induced phospholipidosis.

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D.E.R. 332, used as embedding medium