The Histochemical journal

Cationic gold staining of glomerular anionic sites in archived tissue, reprocessed from paraffin wax into LR gold resin.

PMID 7686544


Glomerular capillary wall anionic sites have been demonstrated by cationic gold staining of archived renal biopsy tissue (up to 10 years old), obtained from six patients, originally embedded in paraffin wax, and subsequently reprocessed into LR gold resin. The staining patterns at pH 2.5 and pH 7.0, demonstrating different glomerular basement membrane (GBM) anionic constituents, were compared in three patients from whom tissue directly processed into LR gold and reprocessed tissue was available. Ultrastructural preservation was poorer and shrinkage artefact greater in paraformaldehyde-lysine periodate (PLP) as opposed to formol saline-fixed reprocessed tissue. However, GBM anionic site expression was well preserved, or even enhanced (lamina rara externa, pH 7.0) in reprocessed tissue, using either fixative. Although it may not be possible to compare subtle changes in anionic site distribution in variously fixed and processed tissues, due to these artefacts, the technique enables retrospective study of charge status in archived material from disease groups in which there are distinct anionic site aberrations.