The Histochemical Journal

, Volume 15, Issue 11, pp 1123–1130 | Cite as

Localization of lanthanum tracer in oral epithelium using transmission electron microscopy and the electron microprobe

  • Christopher Squier
  • John Edie


Although water soluble tracers have been used to localize intercellulr permeability barriers with the transmission electron microscope, there is the possibility of translocation or loss of the tracer during processing. This study compares the localization of lanthanum tracer in keratinized oral epithelium after routine processing with lanthanum seen after using freeze drying to avoid aqueous fixation and dehydration. The electron probe was used to identify the lanthanum tracer in the tissue and to distinguish it from other electron-dense material. After incubating small biopsies of rat palate mucosa in 1% lanthanum nitrate, specimens were either routinely processed for electron microscopy or quick frozen, dehydrated, fixed in osmium vapour and infiltrated with epoxy resin. Examination in the transmission electron microscope indicated that preservation of the freeze dried tissue did not compare favourably with that of normally processed tissue, but the distribution of the electron-dense tracer in the intercellular spaces and the extent of the penetration through the epithelia was similar in the two types of preparations. Confirmation of the tracer as lanthanum was obtained by wavelength dispersive X-ray analysis with the electron probe. The results indicate that no appreciable shift in the localization of the tracer is introduced by routine aqueous fixation and dehydration for electron microscopic examination.


Lanthanum Electron Probe Permeability Barrier Electron Microscopic Examination Oral Epithelium 
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Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall Ltd 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Squier
    • 1
  • John Edie
    • 1
  1. 1.Dows Institute for Dental Research, College of DentistryThe University of IowaIowa CityUSA

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