[Histonet] Hellerstrom & Hellman anyone?

Amos Brooks amosbrooks <@t> gmail.com
Wed Dec 1 12:07:40 CST 2010

	I just did a Hellerstrom & Hellman alcoholic silver stain for pancreatic D-
cells. I followed the method described by Bancroft & Stevens. When the slides 
were placed into the reducing solution they instantly precipitated into a 
toasty mess, the solution turned milky brown and the slides (even around the 
sections) picked up a lot of silver precipitate. If anyone has done this of 
could offer suggestions about it, I'd really like to trouble shoot the stain a 
	A bit of background about the stain that I thought I should add. According to 
the published method I used a 10% silver solution in ETOH with 100ul of 1M 
nitric acid. The pH of the solution was 5.0. The reducing solution was 
alcoholic formalin with 5% pyrogallic acid.
	I thought the silver solution seemed really concentrated (It hardly even 
disolved). Incubating such a solution overnight at 37 deg C (as indicated in 
the method) seemed a bit much. Has anyone heard of modifications of this 
stain? There is no sense reinventing the wheel, but I certainly don't want to 
repeat it knowing that it will innevitably do the same thing again unless 
there is something glaringly obvious that I did wrong.


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