RE: [Histonet] Retic nomenclature

From:"Smith, Allen"

These days, "reticulin" is usually used to designate a specific tissue
component, viz., type III collagen.  Type III collagen usually stains black
with reticulin stains.  Type I collagen usually stains brown.  Laidlaw's
diammine silver carbonate gives the best results in my hands.  Although the
old tinctorial and metal precipitation methods are not quite as specific as
immunohistochemical methods, they cost about 1/10 th as much for materials
and usually take less time to perform.  

Allen A. Smith, Ph.D.
Professor of Anatomy
Barry University
School of Graduate Medical Sciences
            Podiatric Medicine and Surgery
Miami Shores, Florida

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of
Sent: Saturday, May 15, 2004 2:24 PM
Subject: [Histonet] Retic nomenclature

Lance Erickson at Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City Utah 
asks about the appropriate name for the reticulum stain, Gordon and Sweets
any other.

The historically sanctioned name is reticulum stain, and there is no reason 
to change it. Thirty or forty years ago "reticulin" was sometimes considered
be a specific tissue component that the stain demonstrated, but since this
no longer thought to be the case the word "reticulin" should be abandoned. -

Supposedly the PAS stain has similar specificity.

Reticulum stains go back to the Chandler Foot era of surgical pathology 
(1930's-early 1940's), when it was thought that special stains would
surgical pathology in the way that immunohistochemistry actually did in the 
1980's. By the late 1960's the stain was out of use in many large centers; I

don't think I ever saw one when I was at Johns Hopkins between 1964 and

I always thought of it as an old codger's stain when I was young. Now that I

AM an old codger, I'm surprised it's still around.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Gastonia NC
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