Copper stain control blocks
A tissue sample from almost any cirrhotic liver will contain at least small
quantities of stainable copper in periportal hepatocytes (and, for orcein
True Believers, metallothionein / copper-associated / copper-binding
protein) -- visit the autopsy suite, I recommend, and leave the poor dogs
and their vets alone.
Orcein staining has the advantage that the internal control of
high-sulfhydryl elastic fibres is present.
Primary biliary cirrhosis or primary sclerosing cholangitis cases are more
luridly positive, and in more hepatocytes, than are run-of-the-mill
cirrhoses, but any chronic-cholestasis condition will do except, oddly,
Alagille syndrome: Maybe hepatocytes need feedback from bile ducts (which
are lacking in peripheral liver in that disorder) to store copper?
Idly musing in a 200-liver-transplant / year specialty lab,
At 08:53 28/11/01 -0800, Tarpley, John wrote:
>It would be difficult to find control material of human origin. Wilson's
>disease is rare, and the patient has usually (though not aways) been treated
>to remove the copper. Perhaps a recipient liver from a transplant for
>biliary cirrhosis would contain enough copper to be stainable, and would
>provide abundant control material.
>I recall reading a good many years ago that positive control material can be
>prepared by feeding a rat chow laced with 0.5% copper acetate for six
>and staining sections of the liver. If the rat survives the experience till
>the fatal day.
>Additionally some lines of Bedlington(sp?) terriers have a copper storage
>disease similar to Wilson's disease in humans. A veterinary college might be
>able to provide control blocks. Several years ago when I worked at the
>University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine, we used to save all
>the liver we could get from such cases and then used it ourselves for
>control as well as sending it out to other labs including the then active
>CDC Tissue Control Bank which sadly is no longer active.
>John E. Tarpley 5-1-A
>One Amgen Center Drive
>Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
>These Opinions are my own and not necessarily those of my employer.
Alex Knisely, MD
Institute of Liver Studies
King's College Hospital
London SE5 9RS UK
+44 (0)20 - 7346 - 3125 telefax
+44 (0)20 - 7346 - 4627 office
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