[Histonet] Osmium tetroxide staining for lipids

Rene J Buesa rjbuesa <@t> yahoo.com
Fri Aug 24 09:31:38 CDT 2012

Osmium tetroxide is one of the most dangerous substances you can use in the laboratory. Your pathologist probably read some article or found an old photo of fat "stained" with osmium tetroxide and now wants you to do the same thing.
The problem is that the fat is allowed to react to the fumes of this very nasty substance and this is a very dangerous step.
Nowadays this is never done. If he wants to "demonstrate" fat, freeze the tissue, prepare a frozen section and us Oil Red to demonstrate fat.
This is the most current measure.
On the other hand, as you point out, osmium tetroxide is used in electron microscopy.
René J.

From: Sheila Adey <sadey <@t> hotmail.ca>
To: "histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu" <histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu> 
Sent: Friday, August 24, 2012 8:30 AM
Subject: [Histonet] Osmium tetroxide staining for lipids

Hi Everyone:

One of my pathologists wants me to look into Osmium Tetroxide for staining lipids. From what I can gather on the internet, it looks like it is used in Electron microscopy for fixation and staining.
Is anyone using this procedure for routine 4 micrometer sections?

Sheila                         _______________________________________________
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