Re: iron and formalin

From:Geoff McAuliffe <mcauliff@UMDNJ.EDU>

Chastity Diane Shaffer Whitaker wrote:

>  Hello.  I am not a histochemist in any way, shape, nor form and so
> that is why I am soliciting the advise of this list -- that and
> because I could not find my answer in your archives.
> I am a graduate student doing work in MRI looking at affects of iron.
> In one of the articles I have read, it explains that use of formalin
> based fixation solutions may cause iron to come out of the
> cells/organelles/etc.

Could you provide this reference?

> This was in reference to the amount of iron that could be detected by
> Perls' Stain, but if it is true, then the loss of iron would affect my
> results as well.  I have noticed some groups use methacarn rather than
> formalin for histochemical procedures.  Are there any suggestions,
> articles for reference, or experience in this area that someone would
> like to share???
> Thanks in advance for all help provided.

According to the third edition of Kiernan's  text, Hadler et al 1969
found that 6% formaldehyde in 0.27 M CaCl2, pH 4.0 gave the best
retention of iron, better than buffered formalin or alcoholic fixatives.
The original reference was in a Brazilian journal, let me know if you
must have it.


Geoff McAuliffe, Ph.D.
Neuroscience and Cell Biology
Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
675 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, NJ 08854
voice: (732)-235-4583; fax: -4029

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