[Histonet] Golgi Cox

Bob Nienhuis bob.nienhuis <@t> gmail.com
Wed Dec 26 11:53:25 CST 2007

Re: Golgi-Cox
Why is it only used by researchers?
Well, as a University/ VA researcher who occasionally uses Golgi-Cox, I'm
sure why it is not used clinically. I do have a few guesses though.
1. Time. It takes several weeks to do the the impregnation,  and I would
    that clinicians want answers STAT.

2. I don't know of any conditions for which it is particularly useful

In general, Golgi-Cox stains only about 1-2 % of neural (brain) cells, but
that it does stain, it stains completely, with the full dendritic
arborization and
displays dendritic spines nicely. I think it would take a combination of
IHC stains to get the same information. Also, IHC would stain ALL of the
not just a few, thereby making it hard to see which dendrite belongs to
cell body.
We use Golgi as a cell morphology and anatomy tool.  I'm not sure of much in
the way of clinical relevance.

Re: Disposal
 We send all of the waste to a disposal company. We are OK with that as the
costs for this don't come out of OUR budget or grant funds.

Bob Nienhuis
UCLA / Sepulveda VA Medical Center
Los Angeles

On Dec 24, 2007 3:07 PM, Lee & Peggy Wenk <lpwenk <@t> sbcglobal.net> wrote:

> Left over from a question from another histonetter from a couple of weeks
> ago, where I added other questions to the end. I never got a reply, and
> I'm
> really curious about the Golgi-Cox fixation technique - why it's used, how
> the fixative is disposed of afterwards, why only researchers use it and
> routine histology labs don't seem to, is there are IHC equivalent, etc. So
> read below for my original comments and questions. I'd really love to hear
> about this from researchers and non-researchers. (And figuring many people
> are off over the holidays, it might be a slow enough time to get a
> dialogue
> going on this topic.) I really don't know anything about this technique,
> and
> would love to learn the WHY's of this procedure(the HOW's I can read in
> books). Thanks.
> "I have a couple of questions, for anyone in the Histonet community. This
> Golgi-Cox fixation procedure comes up a on occasion on Histonet, mostly
> from
> researchers. How do these labs dispose of the chemicals afterwards?
> Mercuric
> chloride cannot be dumped down any sink, and most (but not all)
> water/sewer
> treatment plants won't allow potassium dichromate to be disposed down the
> sink either. And how do researchers dispose of the water and alcohol and
> xylene in the processing afterwards, where mercuric chloride and potassium
> dichromate are being pulled out of the tissue into the processing
> solutions?
> Can't these tissues be fixed in formalin (or some other less toxic
> fixative
> than mercury and chromium), and then IHC procedures done, such as
> antibodies
> against GFAP or neurofilaments or NSE? I work in a hospital, and am just
> wondering why this Golgi-Cox procedure is needed by researchers, but
> doesn't
> seem to be needed by clinical histology laboratories."
> Peggy A. Wenk, HTL(ASCP)SLS
> William Beaumont Hospital
> Royal Oak, MI 48073
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