Enzyme Histochemistry for Functional Histology in Invertebrates

  • Francesca CimaEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1560)


In invertebrates, enzyme histochemistry has recently found a renaissance regarding its applications in morphology and ecology. Many enzyme activities are useful for the morphofunctional characterization of cells, as biomarkers of biological and pathologic processes, and as markers of the response to environmental stressors. Here, the adjustments to classic techniques, including the most common enzymes used for digestion, absorption, transport, and oxidation, as well as techniques for azo-coupling, metal salt substitution and oxidative coupling polymerization, are presented in detail for various terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates. This chapter also provides strategies to solve the problems regarding anesthesia, small body size, the presence of an exo- or endoskeleton and the search for the best fixative in relation to the internal fluid osmolarity. These techniques have the aim of obtaining good results for both the pre- and post-embedding labeling of specimens, tissue blocks, sections, and hemolymph smears using both light and transmission electron microscopy.

Key words

Azo-coupling Electron microscopy Hemolymph smears Invertebrates Metal salt substitution Oxidative coupling polymerization 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of PaduaPadovaItaly

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