Optimization of Golgi methods for impregnation of brain tissue from humans and monkeys.
Golgi impregnation is unique in its ability to display the dendritic trees of large numbers of individual neurons. However, its reputation for inconsistency leaves many investigators reluctant to embrace this methodology, particularly for the study of formalin-fixed human brain tissue. After reviewing the literature, testing a variety of technical variations, and discussing the procedure with experienced practitioners, we have concluded that much of the unpredictability can be removed by matching the Golgi technique to the conditions that were used for fixation of the tissue. Briefly fixed tissues worked best with the rapid Golgi technique, which includes osmium during the initial chromation step, and with the Golgi-Cox method, which includes mercuric chloride during chromation. For tissues that have been fixed for several years or even for several decades, superior results are obtained with the Golgi-Kopsch technique, using multiple changes of a chromation solution that contains paraformaldehyde. In the Golgi-Kopsch technique, pH should be used to monitor the reduction of Cr6+ to Cr3+, which is a crucial determinant of successful chromation. With any Golgi technique, agitation throughout the impregnation helps to avoid precipitates and to improve the quality of impregnation. When the appropriate method is chosen, Golgi impregnation is a useful technique for the neuropathologist.
Rosoklija, G; Mancevski, B; Ilievski, B; Perera, T; Lisanby, SH; Coplan, JD; Duma, A; Serafimova, T; Dwork, AJ
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