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

How to examine the antigen-damaging effect of sodium ethoxide on deplasticized epoxy sections.

PMID 9010478


The purpose of this investigation was to develop a method that could be used to estimate how damaging sodium ethoxide is to different antigens with respect to immunolabeling when epoxy sections are deplasticized. If we obtain weak labeling for an antigen on deplasticized epoxy sections, this might be caused by the damaging effect of the ethoxide solution. It is therefore interesting to develop a method to check if this really is the reason. Fibrin clots and tissues of human kidney and thyroid were embedded in LR White resin. Some thin sections from these specimen blocks were exposed to sodium ethoxide in the same way as epoxy sections are when being deplasticized. Other sections from the same blocks were not exposed to sodium ethoxide. Both categories of sections were immunogold-labeled with anti-fibrinogen, anti-thyroglobulin, anti-IgA, anti-IgG, or anti-IgM. The intensity of immunolabeling of sections treated with ethoxide was compared with the immunolabeling of corresponding sections that were not treated with ethoxide. No significant differences were found in immunolabeling for fibrinogen, IgA, IgG, and IgM. For thyroglobulin, the intensity was approximately 30% less in tissues that were exposed to sodium ethoxide. The practical significance of this method is that we easily can examine the degree to which a given antigen is affected by sodium ethoxide, which is the agent used for deplasticizing epoxy sections.