[Histonet] Is mucus layer preservation possible?

Cervantes, Jessica cervantes <@t> bendres.com
Mon Mar 5 14:30:03 CST 2007

Hi -
I am relatively new to the histology world, and have a project in which
we'd like to image the mucus layer of the intestine.  We have sections
of rat intestinal tissue that we have embedded in OCT.  The hope was
that the thin layer of mucus that coats the tissue would be preserved by
limiting the handling of the tissue and freezing it as quickly as
possible in the OCT.  We did not test to see whether the OCT would
dissolve or perturb the mucus layer.  The sections we have cut (using a
cryostat) do not show the thin layer of mucus we hoped to see.
PAS/Alcian Blue staining showed mucus in goblet cells, but none on the

My question is if the hope of preserving that thin mucus layer is
completely foolish?  And if not, what procedures should we have followed
(assuming what we did destroyed the layer)?  It is unclear from the
literature what exactly the thickness of the layer would be in a rat,
but I am assuming we are not seeing it because it's just not there (not
that it's too thin).

Any help or advice would be much appreciated.
Jessica Cervantes
Bend Research, Inc

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