tetracycline labelling of bone

From:Gayle Callis

In order to study calcification/mineral deposition in bone, the patient
will be given specific doses of tetracycline at two or more times followed
by a bone biopsy (NOT a standard bone marrow biopsy with Jamshidi needle,
it is much larger, 1 cm in diameter is common!) is taken using a bone
trephine from iliac crest using a much large biopsy needle, producing the
larger core. 

Traditionally, the bone was fixed with 70% alcohol, although it has been
shown alcoholic formalin (Anatech's) and a paper by Mayton using NBF will
retain this water soluble tetracycline with the latter fixations providing
improved morphology.   

The bone is embedded into PMMA or methylmethacrylate plastic, cut with
tungsten carbide knife as decalcification and paraffin are NOT appropriate
for this method in order to prevent loss of tetracycline label.  There are
specific parameters for measuring the rate of resorption and deposition of
bone, usually with some very sophisticated bone image analyzers and
standardized nomenclature, symbols and units by Parfitt, et al bone (99)
1988 and J Bone and Mineral Research, 1987 (2).  Some books to check into 

RR Recker, Bone Histomorphometry, techniques and interpretation, CRC Press

Revell P, 1986 in Pathology of Bone, Springer, on quantitative methods in
bone biopsy examination.   

Gayle Callis
Research Histopathology Supervisor
Veterinary Molecular Biology - Marsh Lab
Montana State University - Bozeman
S. 19th and Lincoln St
Bozeman MT 59717-3610

406 994-6367 (lab with voice mail)
406 994-4303 (FAX)

email: gcallis@montana.edu

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