Re: grey matter stain for slices

From:Geoff McAuliffe

"J. Foote" wrote:

> Hi,
> I have been asked to prepare and stain the grey matter of 4 mm slices of
> brain for macroscopic study in a neuroscience course that will be taught
> this semester.  The method I have is a variation on a Mulligan stain that
> was published by Roberts and Hanaway in Stain Technology 44(3).  This
> method has been used for the last thirty years with good results, but the
> down side of the procedure is the production of strong vapors.  The method
> requires CuSO4-phenol mixture followed by quick wash in potassium
> ferrocyanide.  I have been told even with full safety measures taken (i.e..
> use of gowns, respirators, double layer of gloves and the use of fume
> hoods) it is still an unpleasant procedure. So, I was wondering does anyone
> on this list have any experience staining whole brain slices and if they
> do, can they suggest other methods that might not be as unpleasant.  I look
> forward to any suggestions you might have.
> J. Foote
> J. Foote
> Histology Unit
> Medical School Laboratories
> Faculty of Medicine
> Memorial University of Newfoundland
> St. John's, Newfoundland

Try the performic acid-astra blue method of Braak, Stain Technology 53(2):
87-89, 1978. I think astra blue is the same as Alcian blue (which can be
rendered insoluble with an alkaline wash after staining tissue sections).

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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