[Histonet] fish scales and horse hooves (softening)

gayle callis gayle.callis <@t> bresnan.net
Sun Dec 13 10:28:52 CST 2009

Thank you John.  I did a search and found a excellent explanation on
different types of fish scales.   Having not worked with the species nor
their scales, I am now enlightened on scales.  As for Margaret's problem,
Jane Chladny had a protocol for horse hooves although she used very long
processing schedule for these large specimens, and I did not include that
information in  this message.   However, Margaret may want to try this
method , a combination softening and decalcification.   Jane also published
this method with more discussion in Sakura's HistoLogic (check their website
archives).  Margaret can adjust her times in the following solution to fit
her needs and size of scales.   


Jane Chladny Horse Hoof Fixation/Decalcification/Softening. 


After complete fixation, we soften the hoof for 1-2 weeks ( adjust time to
fit fish scales)  in a solution of 10 ml Tween 80 in 100 ml 1N HCl.
Following softening, the tissue is rinsed in water and processed.   


Happy Holidays


Gayle M. Callis



From: John Kiernan [mailto:jkiernan <@t> uwo.ca] 
Sent: Saturday, December 12, 2009 9:51 PM
To: gayle.callis <@t> bresnan.net
Cc: Perry, Margaret; histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu;
histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: Re: [Histonet] fish scales


Fish scales are calcified. Depending on the type of fish, they may contain
dentin, bone or both. My sources: Two zoology textbooks and also a Wikipedia
entry, Scales (zoology) that reads easily. Even boneless fishes like sharks
have calcified teeth and skin.


John Kiernan

Anatomy, UWO

London, Canada
= = =
----- Original Message -----
From: gayle.callis <@t> bresnan.net
Date: Thursday, December 10, 2009 15:50
Subject: Re: [Histonet] fish scales
To: "Perry, Margaret" <Margaret.Perry <@t> sdstate.edu>,
histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu,
"histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu" <histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu>

> Are fish scales even calcified? If so decalcifying may not work. 
> If keratin - softening with ammonia water, Mollifex(sp?), Nair 
> which is alkaline. I would be more tempted to use GMA plastic to 
> match hardness of scales.
> I have a protocol for horse hooves. If you want will send 
> privately. This is also in HistoLogic, author is Jane 
> Chladny.  
> Gayle Callis  
> Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
> -----Original Message-----
> From: "Perry, Margaret" <Margaret.Perry <@t> sdstate.edu>
> Date: Thu, 10 Dec 2009 12:32:09 
> To: 
histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu<histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu>Subject:
[Histonet] fish scales
> We are trying to cut fish scales that have been 
> decalcified.  They are chunking out when we try to cut 
> them.  I think we need to soften the keratin and I looked 
> in the archives for the right dilution of ammonium hydroxide to 
> use.  One post said 5% the other said straight.  What 
> dilution do you recommend?  I'm think it would probably be 
> the same as what you use on toenails.
> Margaret Perry HT(ASCP)
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