[Histonet] Fixation of mast cells

From:"J. A. Kiernan"

A few days ago someone asked about fixing
mast cells in rabbit tissues. (I've lost the
original email.)

The rabbit is one of several species with 
water-soluble mast cell granules. To
preserve them you need to use a non-aqueous
fixative such as Carnoy or an "alcoholic
Bouin" mixture. When I was working on
mast cells of various animals I used
mainly the latter. Rats and mice have
water-insoluble mast cell granules but
they are also well preserved by fixation
in Carnoy (which gives better micro-anatomical
preservation than formaldehyde).

For a short account of fixation of mast
cells (with 18 references), see Hans Selye's
book "The Mast Cells" (Washington: Butterworths,
1965), p.25.
John A. Kiernan
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
The University of Western Ontario
London,   Canada   N6A 5C1

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