acidified vs nonacidified

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From:Gayle Callis <>
Date:Mon, 23 Aug 1999 10:14:25 -0600

Whoops, meant to add hematoxylin to end of acidified vs nonacidified

Years ago, our preferred decalcified bone section stain was nonacidified
Harris hemaotoxylin, fresh.  We just left the acetic acid out of the
stock mixture, and had brilliant results on the decalcifed sections. 

Acidified hematoxylin, when used on these sections, was weaker staining,
and the acid decalcification was a big factor, no doubt.  

The only regret I have is that Harris hematoxylin made with mercuric chloride
was far superior in our hands than Harris made with sodium iodate, the latter
be the industry standard for oxidation of this stain.  Alas, we no longer
use any mercury compounds, and have gone to a progressive stain instead.

The only thing noticed was the nuclei of cells with nonacified seemed
less differentiated, a tidge blobby looking.  There are tradeoffs when
using these two different mixtures, and one should see what they
prefer, via the microscope.  For most soft tissue usage, the Harris
acidified mixture was preferred, but when bone entered the picture, and
we wanted to see BONE components, the non acidifed was used. 

In all the years of using Harris hematoxylin, inhouse mixtures were 
preferred over commercial.  Tried a bunch, and always went back to ours.

Gayle Callis

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