Re: Nerve stain for bone

From:"J. A. Kiernan" <>

This is a difficult one. Having looked at many Holmes-stained
decalcified heads and parts thereof, I can't confidently
recommend the method for picking out axons within bone. It
might be possible with a systematic set of variations in pH
and silver concentration in the long incubation. I've never
tried that with intra-osseous nerves in mind.

To simplify the challenge: What is the scale of your investigation?
The human navicular is a bit big for anatomical study in histo-scale
sections. Are you working with an altogether smaller sort of tarsus?
Are you trying to trace branches of nerves into the navicular bone,
or do you need to explore the distribution of tiny branches that
accompany blood vessels in haversian canals?  Are you looking for
sensory or sympathetic innervation? 

Finally, I hope you know that you have almost the same name as
John R. Baker, one of the Big Names in the science of preparing
biological objects for microscopy. His books "Principles of
Biological Microtechnique" and "Cytological Technique" are among
the few "classics" that should be read by everyone who works in
this field.
On Fri, 20 Apr 2001, John A. Baker wrote:
> Hi Histonetters,  Does anyone have a nerve stain that works well for 
> bone? I am looking at the Holmes stain. I am working on the foot's 
> navicular bone and need to demonstrate the it's innervation.
> Ann Arbor,  MI 48109-0486
> phone:734-936-1635
John A. Kiernan
Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology
The University of Western Ontario
London,  Canada   N6A 5C1

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