, Volume 100, Issue 2, pp 93–99 | Cite as

Confocal images of marrow stromal (Westen-Bainton) cells

  • Paolo Bianco
  • Alan Boyde


A cytochemical method was used for imaging a defined subset of marrow stromal cells (alkaline phosphatase-positive reticulum cells, hereinafter referred to as Westen-Bainton cells), which are endowed with membrane-associated alkaline phosphatase. The use of two different types of confocal microscopes was compared: a tandem scanning reflected light microscope and a laser scanning confocal microscope equipped with a 633 nm (helium-neon) laser. Sharp confocal reflection images of the cytochemically stained stromal cells were obtained with both microscopes. Three-dimensional reconstructions were generated with both systems, revealing morphological features of Westen-Bainton cells related to both their actual shape and organization within tissue architecture, which were not otherwise appreciated. The observations were extended to individual cases of bone pathology, and demonstrated the value of confocal microscopy for the investigation of marrow-bone relationships in physiology and disease.


Alkaline Phosphatase Morphological Feature Stromal Cell Confocal Microscope Laser Scanning 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paolo Bianco
    • 1
  • Alan Boyde
    • 2
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Biopatologia Umana, Sezione di Anatomia PatologicaUniversità La SapienzaRomaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Anatomy and Developmental BiologyUniversity College LondonLondonUK

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