Re: Fw: question on histology

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From:"Barry Rittman" <>
To:histology <>
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this depends to a certain extent on the type of embedding material.
If they are celloidin sections, or have been celloidinized on the slide, then
the chloroform in the ethanols is to prevent the sections from dissolving.
If paraffin sections then I can only suppose that because chloroform is a little
more tolerant to water than xylene, it may aid in removal of traces of water but
am not sure if this is the case.
Alternatively, the chloroform in the alcohol may inhibit the leaching out of the
stain in the alcohol.
Enough procrastination from me. Have a great weekend.


> A friend has asked the following question,  anyone know what to advise on
> the question?
>  I was wondering if you might help me answer a relatively simple question
>  on histology technique.  I've got a protocol that is for staining and
>  dehydrating nissl sections for brain tissue.  It goes through several
>  steps, starting by dehydrating and then soaking in 50/50 CHCl4/100%EtOH,
>  then hydrating to stain, then clearing, and dehydrating and finally
>  soaking in xylene before coverslipping.
> What are the purposes of using  chloroform and xylene in clearing/staining
> tissues?  Do they serve  different purposes?  Do you know what they actually
> do to the tissue, chemically?  Any help you could give me would be wonderful
> and  informative.

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