[Histonet] Iron Stain

John Kiernan jkiernan <@t> uwo.ca
Sun Sep 26 23:58:34 CDT 2004

The choice of staining method depends on the required 
sensitivity of the histochemical detection of iron. 

Try the Perls method or one of its common variants (in 
any techniques book published in the last 50+ years). It
may well be adequate, and it is easy to do. The Prussian
blue reaction product can fade in some mounting media,
so take photographs less than one year after preparing
the slides. At Emory University, with its excellent
libraries, you should have no difficulty finding  
some books that explain the Perls method. Click on
and you will soon be on your way to the right building,
floor and shelf.

If old Perls's (= Perls') technique is not sensitive
enough for your needs, there are ways to enhance it, and
also to convert the Prussian blue to a permanently
visible coloured product. There are also staining methods 
for iron that use chemistry other than Prussian/Turnbull's 
blue reactions. For more advanced iron histochemistry, see 
a modern histochemistry book (= Pearse Vol.2, 1985 or 
something more recent) and follow up the references to 
the original papers. For research work you should always 
go to the source even if a textbook provides apparently 
simple instructions.

Please send a message to Histonet when you have found 
a method that shows iron in sickle-cell anaemia lungs. 
Others may well benefit from your reported trials and 
John A. Kiernan
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
The University of Western Ontario
London,   Canada   N6A 5C1
Jessica Butler <jessica_butler <@t> oz.ped.emory.edu>
> I work at Emory University and we are currently investigating sickle cell
> disease. I need a protocol for staining mouse lung tissue for iron. The
> protocol and/or stain can be for paraffin fixed or frozen sections.
> Thanks-

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