Document Detail

Microwave irradiation improvements in the silver staining of the nucleolar organizer (Ag-NOR) technique.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  7584547     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The well-known technique of silver staining of the nucleolar organizer (Ag-NOR) is improved in contrast, selectivity and speed when performed with microwave irradiation. The Ag-NOR technique is a very useful tool for studies on the functional morphology and molecular architecture of the nucleolus, and is reputed to be one of the best techniques for diagnosis and prognosis of cancer lesions. To test the generality of the enhancing effects, our study has involved the use of both mammalian and plant cells. Two steps in the process are improved quantitatively by microwave irradiation: fixation and staining itself. Fixation with the ethanol-based reagent, Kryofix, for 3 min in the microwave oven, resulted in good structural preservation at the optical level, and enhanced the contrast and selectivity of silver staining. On the contrary, we found that neither glutaraldehyde fixation, nor a treatment of sections with Carnoy's solution, improved Ag-NOR staining. After an analysis of the effects of the different substances involved in sample preparation, we conclude that ethanol is an essential factor for fixation for nucleolar staining, particularly if aldehydes are eliminated from fixative solutions. The process of staining was performed with a drop of staining solution on a semithin section of plastic-embedded tissue in the microwave oven for 1 min. Staining under these conditions always improved the visualization of nucleoli, regardless of the fixation procedure. Therefore, microwave irradiation at both steps is recommended for giving the best results. Microwave irradiation probably enhances fixation by controlled heat, whereas the increase in reactivity of the staining solution is a direct effect by the microwaves on the silver ions themselves. We used this method to study nucleolar materials during mitosis in proliferating plant cells. Current applications of Ag-NOR staining can be improved with this technical modification.
F J Medina; A Cerdido; R Marco
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Histochemistry and cell biology     Volume:  103     ISSN:  0948-6143     ISO Abbreviation:  Histochem. Cell Biol.     Publication Date:  1995 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1995-12-14     Completed Date:  1995-12-14     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9506663     Medline TA:  Histochem Cell Biol     Country:  GERMANY    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  403-13     Citation Subset:  IM    
Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, CSIC, Madrid, Spain.
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MeSH Terms
Cell Nucleus
Liver / cytology*,  ultrastructure
Nucleolus Organizer Region / chemistry*,  radiation effects
Plants / cytology*,  ultrastructure
Silver Staining / methods
Reg. No./Substance:

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