, Volume 17, Issue 9, pp 967-980

Application of rapid freezing followed by freeze-substitution acrolein fixation for cytochemical studies of the rat stomach

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A method involving rapid freezing followed by substitution fixation was developed, using acrolein as a fixative. This was then applied to several cytochemical stainings, and showed well preserved and clear cell structures. Membranes were apparently negatively stained and the ultrastructure of mitochondria, rough endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus was clearly discernible. The mitochondrial and cytoplasmic matrices were stained rather densely compared with routine chemically fixed preparations, implying a good preservation of matrix substrances. Periodic acid-thiocarbohydrazide-silver proteinate staining was applied to the present method. The mucous granules of surface covering epithelial cells indicated fine staining of bipartite structure and the Golgi apparatus of mucous cells showed clear staining differences based on polarity. Postembedding lectin-ferritin and immunocytochemical stainings were applicable to the present preparations and stable stainings of secretory granules were obtained. A low temperature embedding material, Lowicryl K4M, was also examined. The cell preservation of these samples was not as good as those embedded in Epon, but the rough endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus of chief cells were stained with anti-pepsinogen antibody as were the secretory granules. The present method was also applicable to light microscopy.